GULLY, John (1819-1888). New Zealand Scenery Chromo-Lithographed after Original Water-Color Drawings, with Descriptive Letterpress by Dr. Julius von Haast. London: Marcus Ward & Co., 1877.
Folio (21 x 17 inches). Title leaf, two text leaves, and fifteen mounted chromolithographs, housed in the original green cloth-covered portfolio (some thumbing, chipping, other slight cosmetic blemishes, portfolio tattered).
Provenance: The Estate of David Spinney.
"It is impossible, without having seen them, to form any adequate idea of the grandeur of those gigantic masses of rock, snow, and ice which abound in the wild and desolate region of these Southern Alps. It was the privilege of the writer to have been the first explorer and delineator of these regions, it is almost impossible to convey through a small number of pictures and adequate representation of the varied scenery of these beautiful islands, but those which Mr. Gully has selected for publication are well chosen, and are sufficiently striking and characteristic to give the lover of nature some idea of the infinite beauty of that land" (Introduction). While drawing master at Nelson College, in New Zealand, from 1861 to 1863, Gully he sketched in the Nelson Lakes area and painted local scenes. "More importantly, he produced 12 watercolour paintings of South Island mountains and glaciers from sketches by Julius Haast. This set of paintings was used to illustrate Haast's lecture on the mountains and glaciers of the Canterbury province, which was read to the Royal Geographical Society in London on 8 February 1864. Gully exhibited at the New Zealand Exhibition in Dunedin in 1865, showing work on behalf of the survey office and on his own account. He gained a silver medal and sold all the paintings he exhibited. This recognition placed his name at the forefront of New Zealand watercolourists. His reputation was further enhanced by his exhibits at the Nelson Institute Exhibition in February 1866. The paintings included scenes of the town of Nelson, the Kaikoura Mountains, Mt Cook (from sketches by John Rochfort), and the West Coast. Some of the paintings went on to the Intercolonial Exhibition of Australasia in Melbourne in 1866-67. Two paintings sold for £60 each and Gully made arrangements for agents to sell his work in Melbourne. He began an association with the Victoria Academy of Arts and was represented at many of its exhibitions. In 1873 he visited Victoria briefly and praised the people as his first real patrons. In 1865 there had been an unsuccessful attempt to publish a portfolio of his paintings of New Zealand. In 1877 the project finally came to fruition with the publication in Dunedin and London of New Zealand scenery. The 15 chromolithographs based on Gully's original watercolours were accompanied by descriptive text written by Haast. The plates depict prominent landmarks and scenes, from Mt Taranaki and Lake Taupo in the north to Bradshaw Sound in the south. Gully was disappointed with the reproductions, which are gaudy by comparison with the light and airy originals" (The Encyclopedia of New Zealand online). For more information on this book, or a warm welcome to see other books and maps of our collection at 72nd Street NYC, please contact Natalie Zadrozna.