Auckland Domain, New Zealand
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The centre foreground shows the site of an ancient pa of the Waiohua people, with a view of the southern approach to the Manukau Harbour and Auckland isthmus. A track leads on to the wooded promontory from the left foreground. Beyond the rock and to the right of it is a settler's farmhouse showing fenced fields, tree stumps, and rows of garden plantings. Two figures on horseback ride on the road at the base of the promontory, near the farm, and a woman and child stand in the centre of a nearby field. In the left distance, two rivers flow away into the Manukau Harbour and the Waitakere Ranges appear on the far horizon.
The light effects and appearance of the sky indicate that the time is shortly before sunset
"Art unions" were raffles or lotteries for works of art, and helped artists to get their works known. The Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1880 regulated this activity.
Roger Blackley, in "The art of Alfred Sharpe" (Auckland, 1992) notes that the period around 1880 represents the peak of Alfred Sharpe's career; he held two art unions, and published the first of his technical writings.
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