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The Art Of John Kauffman, 1919

Signed Limited Edition of 500

The Art of John Kauffman Featured 20 plates by South-Australian born photographer John Kauffmann - a pioneer's of Australian Pictorialist Photography. 




each plate was inserted to a double page; with the plate to the right and a caption on the left.



The Kauffmann logo



The Plates

with the 1919 captions by Leslie H Beer


Plate 1:   Mountain Gums

Original caption by Leslie H Beer: A  pleasing interpretation of an Australian bush scene, dignified and impressive in arrangement.


Plate 2: The Grey Veil

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:  Is a truly refined and artistic interpretation of a view of Melbourne, not lacking in topographical interest. The striking essentials of the distant city are portrayed with boldness of the treatment of the wintry atmosphere has transformed this every-day scene into a charming essay in tone. This is an example of the individuality of the artist triumphing above the limitations of the apparatus.


Plate 3: The Silent Watcher

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:   Shows another fine ti-tree study, illustrating the remarks in the text of this book. " The mishapen and storm tossed tree shapes silhoutted against the placid waters of the bay, or the silvered atmosphere of evening.


Plate 4: Australia's Realm

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:    This will be regarded as one of the most " typically" Au­tralian landscapes of the collection; the strength and charm of simplicity in the arrangement of the foreground gum trees gives force to the gentle, misty air that extends back to the distant hills; this composition is another example of the painter-like conception.   A beautiful subject.


Plate 5: Mountain Homestead

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:  A typical gum tree study in the Healesville (Victoria) district; it is a well-knit composition exemplyfying the charm of the old white timbered gums for pictorial essay.
A really fine example of homely landscape.


Plate 6:  Sheep at Pasture

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:   A charming pastoral subject selected quite close to Adelaide on the river Torrens. Its chief charm is the characteristic arrangement of the lighting and the breadth of treatment; it is beautifully true to nature and perfectly composed.


Plate 7:  The Battler

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:  It would be diffioult to more aptly title this interesting ti-tree subject. The lonely isolation of the wind-tossed skeleton is almost pathetic; it is fitting also that such a subject should be portrayed with a big expanse of excellently rendered stormy sky.


Plate 8: The Melbourne Cup 1911

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:   An impression. This is a really noteworthy figure composi­tion strong in artistic merits and of unfailing interest in subject. The arrangement and grouping of the animated crowd of figures is a pictorial achievement of distinction. The feeling of sunlight and gaiety is well portrayed.


Plate 9: The Survivor

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:   A further example of the pictorial qualities of the old warrior gum trees so typical of the Australian bush. The artist's point of view in placing the giant old warrior against large expanse of sky emphasises the motif of the picture.


Plate 10: Thro' The Fog

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:   Shows an artist's interpretation of a subject selected in the heart of Melbourne, showing the Commercial Travellers' Club Building beyond the railway line. This is another arrangement of a very distinctive design reminiscent of modern Japanese decoration: decidedly broad and impressionistic in treatment.


Plate 11:  Victory

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:   A dramatic arrangement of weirdly fantastic branches and twigs. It is an artistic expression of the "spirit" of the ti-tree. The bold impressionistic treatment adds greatly to the charm and mystery of the subject.


Plate 12: Fleeting Gleam

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:  Another picture strong in topographical interest; the tonal values and the treatment of atmosphere add materially to what is undeniably a well composed picture.


Plate 13: Graceful Gums

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:  For its direct simplicity of subject and the unusual and decorative arrangement this picture has its strongest appeal. As in most of the work reproduced the tonal qualities are strongly in evidence.


Plate 14: Wharf Labourers

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:  Immaculate technical quality. The broad treatment of the masses of lights and darks, and a strong vein of sentimental interest contrives to make this picture an artistic achievement. It is in quite a different order to the majority of the pure landscape pictures reproduced.


Plate 15: Seaside Idyll

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:  An entirely unconventional composition further emphasing the pictorial possibilities of the ti-tree. The low horizon line, the well balanced masses of dark foliage and the interesting pattern help to make this study an interesting picture.



Plate 16: The Cloud

Original caption by Leslie H Beer: By its originality of conception, an unpromising subject is transformed into pictorial arrangement of bold and daring design. Seldom, indeed, has cloud form been so strikingly well produced.



Plate 17: The Forthills

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:  Warburton—A pleasing arrangement of a graceful group of sappltngs portrayed with tender feelings for soft and delicate tones. The rendering of the low toned and overcast sky is a feature of this example of pure landscape.


Plate 18: Storm Brewing

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:  Is a fine effect of absolute realism, the composition and the "feeling " of the coming storm are qualities that will have a strong appeal. From a technical standpoint this is a most happy effort.


Plate 19: Veterans of the Woods

Original caption by Leslie H Beer: This is more than a material representation of ti-tree : it is a fine perception of the true value of light, for the charm of the picture lies in the fantastic display of light on the weather beaten and rough service of the two dominent tree trunks and the linking up of the tones from high-lights to the dark foliage in the background. It is not an accidental arrangement—it is the careful selection of the trained eye of an artist.


Plate 20: Sunset Hour

Original caption by Leslie H Beer:  Maybe styled to belong to the decorative class of landscape, depending for its appeal on the bold and attractive pattern. The bigness of the design is treated in a painter-like manner, and its simplicity of tonal arrangement is decidedly attractive.


The plates were accompanied by an essay by Leslie H. Beer - click here for the online version.

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