View from Vaucluse. George F. HALSTED.
View from Vaucluse.

View from Vaucluse.

Sydney: circa 1857.

Oil painting on papered boards, 31.3 x 61 cms. in an early gilt frame, signed lower right F. Halsted.

Looking from Vaucluse to Mosman

The artist George F. Halsted worked in Sydney from the 1850s to the 1880s. It is thought that he may have been the son of Captain George A. Halstead RN whose sketchbook of English views is in the State Library of NSW.

The artist George F. Halsted worked in Sydney from the 1850s to the 1880s. It is thought that he may have been the son of Captain George A. Halstead RN whose sketchbook of English views is in the State Library of NSW.

In 1873 Halsted is known to have exhibited with the Academy of Arts and the Agricultural Society of NSW, and in 1880 at the first exhibition of the Art Society of NSW. The Sydney Morning Herald wrote that '…his landscape paintings, bathed in either bright or highly atmospheric romantic light and treated in a detailed stylistic manner, continued to be admired for their rich natural beauty'. The Art Gallery of NSW had purchased a painting by him prior to 1883 and the Gallery cataloguers labelled him as 'an accurate and careful draughtsman whose views of coast scenery have been much admired'.

It is this attention to detail that is particularly evident in this picture: Halsted's view includes the newly installed telegraph poles in New South Head Road Vaucluse but before the accompanying wires have been put in place. The first Australian electric telegraph lines were built to connect the South Head signal station with the city of Sydney, seen here in the distance. Prior to the opening of the electric line on 26 January 1858 a system of semaphore flags was used to relay information on the arrival of ships entering The Heads.

In this finely painted panorama looking from Vaucluse towards Mosman, what is now prized harbourside living was in 1857 verdant and empty foreshore land. Just a single building is depicted in the leafy cove and several sailing ships can be seen on the water whilst a brougham carriage travels along the dirt track of New South Head Road carrying two gentlemen.

This is a most interesting work that captures the very short time just prior to the introduction of the telegraph in Australia.

Price (AUD): $15,000.00  other currencies Ref: #4302341