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Vineyard, Castle Hill1927

by Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson was a prolific painter of Australian landscapes, although he was born in New Zealand in 1890.

This painting documents Castle Hill as it was in 1927 — a largely rural area, 30 km from the Sydney CBD, on the cusp of becoming a suburb. From colonial times, the district was identified as prime farming land, with fruit and citrus growing particularly successful. Castle Hill Government Farm, operated by convicts, provided food and stock for the colony between 1801 and 1811.

Suburban subdivision of the Castle Hill was well underway in 1927, but orchards, farms and vineyards, such as this one, continued to be prominent in the area until later in the 20th century. The Blue Mountains, to the west, can be seen shimmering in the background.