Story: Painting

William Sutton, 'Nor-wester in the cemetery'

William Sutton, 'Nor-wester in the cemetery'

William (Bill) Sutton claimed that he 'had no desire to create or recognise national totems'; but his paintings of the Canterbury landscape have certainly been seen as expressing regional, if not national, characteristics. Like many of the Christchurch painters of the 1930s and 1940s, Sutton often placed buildings or other constructed objects against the landscape. Here, we see the mortuary chapel and gravestones from Christchurch's Barbadoes Street Cemetery placed in a Canterbury rural scene. The north-west sky fills the background and the wind rustles the long dry grass.

Using this item

Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki
Reference: 1954/35
Oil on canvas by William Alexander Sutton, 1950

Permission of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Reproduced courtesy of Christchurch Art Gallery - Te Puna o Waiwhetu

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Painting - Nationalism and landscape painting, 1935 to 1965', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 August 2022)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014