GULLY, John;

The Bealey Valley

1879
Watercolour on paper
600 x 1226mm

The Bealey Valley is a fine example of John Gully’s large-scale landscape watercolour style. The artist’s sources lie in the watercolours of J. M. W. Turner and the writings of John Ruskin; like Turner, he achieved dramatic effects by applying multiple washes, then scraping or sponging back the colour.

Gully’s compositions invariably fell back on the Claudian formula of a high foreground which then recedes into a misty distance. Foreground detail often comprises carefully placed battered trees or light-catching rocks and spectator figures. Landscapes are consistently poeticised by misty atmospheres, as here, or sunset glows.

The Fletcher Trust Collection is one of the largest curated private collections of Aotearoa art. The Trust makes works available online as well as via exhibitions initiated by public art institutions and by the Trust itself.

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