John Gully Landscape to Represent New Zealand in Bonham’s Travel & Exploration Sale

Priyanka Patil
Published on

In the mid-19th century, artists across New Zealand used elaborate landscapes and sketches to publicize their lands. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, these works also recorded the islands’ shores and open land for future settlers. The group of New Zealand painters employing British and European landscape style to promote their country included John Gully.

The Remarkables from the edge Lake Wakatipu, watercolor by John Gully (est. USD 14,000 - $21,000)
The Remarkables from the edge Lake Wakatipu, watercolor by John Gully (est. USD 14,000 – $21,000)

Bonhams’ Travel & Exploration auction features landscapes from around the world, as well as memorabilia. It is set to take place on February 10th, 2021, at 13:00 GMT in Knightsbridge, London. 

The highlight is a John Gully landscapeRemarkables from the edge Lake Wakatipu by self-taught artist John Gully. The watercolor portrays the atmospheric beauty of Lake Wakatipu in Otago, New Zealand, through Gully’s elaborate brush strokes. 

John Gully was born in 1819 in Bath, England and worked as an apprentice in a foundry. In 1852, he moved to New Zealand. His career, however, flourished when he moved his family to Nelson, a city facing New Zealand’s Tasman Bay. In Nelson, Gully received many commissions and also worked as a lecturer and draughtsman.

Gully’s watercolors involved the application of overcoat washes, sponging, dabbing, and scratching techniques. The use of gouache was another notable feature of his works and often rendered a matte texture to his watercolors. His compositions had three prime sections: foreground, middle, and distant ground, all lead in with a rugged path. 

John Gully was a preeminent painter of the colonial art era, and his impressive imagery of New Zealand was highly acclaimed in England and Australia.

English School, 19th Century (After Thomas Packer) set of four views depicting the key sites of the Crimean War (est. $55,000 – $82,000).
English School, 19th Century (After Thomas Packer) set of four views depicting the key sites of the Crimean War (est. $55,000 – $82,000).

Also showcased in the Bonhams sale is a set of four views portraying the primary sites of the Crimean War. The 19th-century English School oil paintings after Thomas Packer picture aerial views of the Black Sea.

A ghost gum on Washwood Stn. (Mt. Bowman) near Haasts Bluff by Albert Namatjira (est. $11,000 - $16,000).
A ghost gum on Washwood Stn. (Mt. Bowman) near Haasts Bluff by Albert Namatjira (est. $11,000 – $16,000).

Representing the history of Australian landscape art is a watercolor by Albert Namatjira

The available western landscape A ghost gum on Washwood Stn. (Mt. Bowman) near Haasts Bluff, by Namatjira, an Aboriginal artist, is inspired by photography. European landscape art also inspired Namatjira’s art. However, beyond decoration, Namatjira’s work also functioned as a guide to Central Australia.

Also featured in this sale are Asian, French, and Brazilian landscapes and an eclectic mix of worldwide books, paintings, photographs, artifacts, maps, and manuscripts. Highlights include the first edition of Les Voyages de la Nouvelle France occidentale, dicte Canada by Champlain (Samuel De), Zanzibar & The Slave Trade journal of Christopher Palmer Rigby, and George Philip & Son Limited merchant shippers’ globe.

Bidding in the auction is possible through telephone, web bidding, or the Bonhams mobile app. For more information related to lots, viewing, and other auction details, visit Bonhams’ website.

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James Ardis
James Ardis
Senior Writer and Editor

James Ardis is a writer, editor, and content strategist focused on the auction industry. His company, James Ardis Writing, has partnered with auction houses, galleries, and many clients outside the art world.

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