Collection Online

Cathedral interior, San Maria

watercolour over pencil
(48.2 × 34.2 cm) (image)
Accession Number
Australian Prints & Drawings
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Bequest of Herbert and Ivy Brookes, 1973
Gallery location
Not on display


Cathedral interior, San Maria (1910)
T. S. Glasier & Co.
Union House, 284-6 Little Collins Street,

The frame amounts to a thin wooden moulding with cast composition foliate corners. The surface is metal leaf on a stippled gesso, lightly burnished on the raised edges, patinated with a dark wash. The assembly uses a gold pulp board matt of even dimension around image. The bevel of the mount has been darkened.


The frame is in good original condition with some small losses.

75.3 x 61.5 x 1.5 cm; sight 68.5 x 54.5 cm;matt sight 48.0 x 34.0 cm
Cathedral interior, San Maria (1910) Arthur STREETON
Cathedral interior, San Maria (1910) (colourman)

This is an intact framing and mounting system. Though later than the date of the painting, (given the dating of the label) the frame is characteristic of the presentation of watercolours in the 1920s and 1930s. Frames like this are found on many domestic scale artworks and photographs, the artists varying from amateur to professional. Here the frame is used on a work by noted Australian painter, Arthur Streeton. Streeton was known to update the framing of his paintings when returned to him for restoration or when they were put on the market.2


1 Hilary Maddocks, ‘Picture Framemakers in Melbourne c. 1860–1930’ in vol. 1, Frames, Melbourne Journal of Technical Studies in Art, University of Melbourne Conservation Service, 1999.

2 ‘I feel grateful that you brought your picture of “The Palace Courtyard” to me for restoration, instead of allowing anyone else to touch it. I have cleaned one section, doing it 2 or 3 inches at a time – and shall return it to you bright & fresh as when it was painted – a great improvement. Also if you’ll allow me, I’ll put it in a more recent frame in perfect condition …’ from a letter to Samuel Ewing, 13 November 1937, National Gallery of Victoria, Ewing Gift File. Cited in ‘Looking at Arthur Streeton’, John Payne & Jo Shea in Geoffrey Smith, Arthur Streeton, 1867–1943, National Gallery of Victoria, 1995.