The Hunter at Maitland

Artist/Maker and role
A. H. Fullwood (b.1863, d.1930): Artist
Production date
Circa 1886
About this object
The Hunter at Maitland was created by artist A. H. Fullwood whilst employed as an artist for 'The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia'. It is one of several images Fullwood created of Maitland after visiting the area in the mid 1880s. Fullwood’s watercolour painting sensitively renders an idyllic view from the northern bank of the Hunter River in West Maitland. It includes local landmarks such as St John’s Cathedral and Bishop's House.
Back in Sydney, Fullwood's sketches and paintings were converted into engravings that could be published in the Atlas. The intention of 'The Picturesque Atlas of Australia' was, as the name implies, to capture inviting and picturesque images of the Australian bush, towns and cities. It was within this context that Fullwood visited Maitland in the mid 1880s, soon after he had arrived from England. His sketches, notes and subsequent paintings and engravings emphasise scenic views. 'The Hunter at Maitland' for example, suggests that the river is an idyllic setting and space for the city that sits along its edge. As Warwick Heywood observes: ‘Common to landscape paintings at this time, the picture presents a harmonious relationship between industry, represented by plumes of domestic and industrial smoke, and a natural setting.’
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Object detail

Significance
'The Hunter at Maitland' watercolour is historically and aesthetically significant for its association with British-Australian artist A.H. Fullwood and with 'The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia'. It provides a good example of a Fullwood watercolour and is well documented through reproduction of the image in 'The Picturesque Atlas of Australia' and through notes and sketches in Fullwood’s account of his visit to the Maitland district in the mid 1880s. It offers a view of West Maitland that includes the landmark St John’s Cathedral and the central place of the Hunter River with the city at its edge. It has the ability to enhance the Library’s many images of the Hunter River, and to provide a contrast to the history – and images – of the river as a site of floods and destruction. It also sits within a body of work by a variety of artists who, over time, have painted and sketched views of Maitland.

Statement of Significance completed by Janis Wilton, 2022
Collection type
Media
Watercolour on paper
Measurements
26 x 40.9cm
Credit line
Acquired by Maitland Libraries, 2022.
Artist/Maker
Accession number
LIB2022.016

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