John Mitford

Grafton Gully

Grafton Gully by John Mitford

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John Mitford arrived in Auckland in 1841 and worked as a customs official. His watercolours record his local environment and his travels. Grafton Gully, 1843 provides a panoramic view of Auckland from Grafton Gully: Government House can be seen in the centre, with Rangitoto and North Head in the background. Mitford produced two additional, similar watercolours of this vista that are smaller in scale and are painted with a looser technique, indicating that they were most likely preliminary experiments for this watercolour. Here Mitford has contained the expressive brushwork in the trees and hills within defined contours, and has elevated his viewpoint to create a more centralised composition. The resulting watercolour is a panoramic vista of rhythmic lines, atmospheric light, and vibrant texture that depicts Auckland as a place both wild and tamed, surging and tranquil.

Title
Grafton Gully
Artist/creator
Production date
1843
Medium
watercolour, pencil, gum
Dimensions
323 x 472 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Lt Col R M Rendell, 1942
Accession no
1942/6
Other ID
1942/6/C
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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