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State Library of NSW
Argyle Street and Cutc 1902
Sydney Long, born in 1871, studied at the Art Society of NSW School under Alfred Daplyn and Julian Ashton. Here he was influenced by plein air (outdoor) painting and naturalism. He painted landscapes from around Sydney and won the Wynne prize for landscape painting twice, in 1938 and 1940.
This painting depicts the Argyle Cut and Playfair Stairs looking from east to west. Created as a shortcut between the shores of The Rocks, the roadway cut through deep rock between Circular Quay and Millers Point. Using convict labour, work began in 1843 and was completed in 1859. Most of the sandstone removed from the cut was used to form the seawalls around the Quay. The Argyle Cut was altered again during the construction of the approaches to the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the 1920s.