Collection Online
Sydney Harbour
oil on canvas on plywood
122.2 × 122.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Sydney, New South Wales
inscribed in black paint l.l.: A STREETON -
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1910
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Gallery 6
Level 2, NGV Australia
Subjects (general)
Cityscapes Landscapes Marines and Seascapes
Subjects (specific)
Australia (nation) harbours Jackson, Port (harbour) New South Wales (state) points (landforms) Sydney (inhabited place) watercraft waterfronts
Australian Impressionism Heidelberg School
Physical description
Painting on canvas
Original, by Chapman Bros., London


Made in a Louis XIV style, this is one of a number of Chapman frames on paintings by Streeton in Australian collections.1 The frame represents one of a series of four-foot square formats used by Streeton in the NGV. The frames were made by different framers and started with ‘The purple noon’s transparent might,’ 1896 (modified by John Thallon, 12 ins. wide), and Frosty morn, 1901 (a11-1986) (currently in a reproduction of a Thallon frame, in a conventional classical revival style). The Sydney Harbour frame is robustly made and imposing in scale while retaining a decorative quality somewhat removed from Australian frames of the 1890s. The picture was painted in Sydney in 1907 but it is likely this frame was made in London for exhibition at the Royal Academy in May 1908.


1 An identical moulding appears on Streeton’s Land of the Golden Fleece, 1926 (private collection). Another Chapman frame is on Streeton’s Australia Felix, 1907 (Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide).

Chapman Bros.

The basic form of the frame is built from four sections of timber assembled to provide the working edge, the rebate and a simple profile to carry the moulded frieze. The frieze section carries a broad, composition ornament. The frame is water gilded on a red bole throughout. Areas of exposed surface between the applied decorations carry punched decorative work.

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National Portrait Gallery