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Arrarnta people

Australia 1902 – 1959

not titled [landscape] 1955 Description: First of Mantlepiece set of two paintings (No. 5) Second of Mantlepiece set of two paintings (No.6)
Place made: Hermannsburg, Northern Territory, Australia
Materials & Technique: drawings, watercolours, graphite; paper; watercolour painting in watercolour over drawing in black pencil Support: paper

Primary Insc: Signed recto lower right in watercolour, 'ALBERT NAMATJIRA'. Not dated.
Tertiary Insc: Inscribed verso upper left in black pencil, '213'. Inscribed verso upper right, '20 x 16', c. '3' at all round / 1 guy Bool'
Dimensions: image 25.4 h x 35.4 w cm sheet 26.8 h x 36.6 w cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of Thomas William and Pamela Joyce (Joy) Falconer 1987
Accession No: NGA 87.321.2

Over time, the precise names of the locations depicted in many of Namatjira's paintings have been lost. Titles provided in exhibition catalogues disappear as owners mislay documentation that may have accompanied the work when they purchased it. At points of resale, new titles are invented and applied afresh. This practice almost certainly accounts for the ubiquitous 'Western MacDonnells Landscape'. In many cases these locations may or may not be in the MacDonnell Ranges Tywerentye. This title is often applied to works that depict specific locations that may be clearly recognisable to Western Aranda people and other Central Australians as entirely different country: at a place closer to Hermannsburg in the James Range Tyimule, for example, or even further afield, way out west beyond Haasts Bluff Ulumpawarru.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra