State Library of NSW
Born in Scotland, signwriter and decorator John Campbell’s earliest colonial artworks date from the late 1880s, when he was living in the eastern states of Australia. Campbell’s precise paintings provide invaluable historical documentation of the places he depicts.
This view of Mosman Bay, on Sydney’s North Shore, showcases the artist’s sharp eye for accuracy and attention to fine detail. Carefully recording the scene he surveyed, all the necessities of suburban life are illustrated. Buildings, bridges, roadways, tram tracks, watercraft, street lighting, telegraph poles and power lines, everything is observed and included. The title and signature are incorporated into the sandstone seawall depicted in the painting.