Sydney Lough Thompson

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour by Sydney Lough Thompson

Artwork Detail

Sydney Lough Thompson was a highly successful artist who achieved acclaim in Europe as well as in New Zealand and Australia. Lough Thompson’s art practice was greatly informed by his experiences overseas and the art he saw on his travels during the first two decades of the twentieth century after moving to London in 1900. In England he found inspiration in the artworks of John Constable, Joseph Mallord William Turner and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, while in France he first became aware of Cézanne and the divergent stylistic currents of Post-Impressionism after meeting Milner Kite and Roderic O’Conor. Synthesising these interests with his formative education under Petrus van der Velden in Christchurch, Lough Thompson developed a style that employed gestural brushwork and high-keyed colour to capture the light and atmosphere of places he visited. In this painting depicting Sydney Harbour, Lough Thompson conveys the sleepy hazy atmosphere of twilight through overlapping cream and blue tones, which seem to melt together sea, land and sky. In its suggestion of quiet solitude, the painting demonstrates the particular influence of Whistler, whose works he saw on his travels between 1902 and 1904. This painting was most likely painted during a short trip to Sydney in 1925, when Lough Thompson was enjoying notable commercial and critical acclaim in Australia and New Zealand after returning from Europe.

Sydney Harbour
Sydney Lough Thompson
Production date
circa 1925
oil on board
216 x 268 x 4 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift in memory of Frances Alicia Robinson (née Hamilton), 2019
Accession no
Copyright Expired
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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