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Blue Mountains - Vintage Travel Poster by James Northfield

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This sublime Australina vintage poster portrays the jewel of the New South Wales landscape in a timeless fashion. Designer, James Northfield portrays the distinctive hues that give the range it's name, contrasting these with complementary oranges, yellows and reds to suggest either the first rays of the morning or the last of the afternoon. As usual, Northfield skilfully employs the printing techniques of the day to add interest and texture to his design. Notice for example the misty clouds making their way across the valley, suggested only by subtle, masterly variations of stipple from the designer's airbrush. One of the region's defining features, as any visitor can enthusiastically attest, is in fact the vast empty spaces between mountains. Northfield makes this the true subject of his design.

Also characteristic of Northfield's approach is the difficulty in identifying the precise location of the scene. His most common method was to create an amalgam of a given location's features. In this case the viewer could be en route to Wentworth falls, enjoying the endless outlook at Sublime Point, or braving the tour group hoards at Katoomba (the latter a challenge even in the 1930s).

For Australians born and bred in Sydney and it's surrounds or anyone with an interest in this spectacular wilderness scenery of the Blue Mountains, this poster captures a slice of the region's wondrous colour and form.

© All Northfield images courtesy of James Northfield Heritage Art Trust
Text © Vintage Portfolio

Vintage Portfolio is Australia's leading producer of vintage travel posters and advertising posters from the 1930s, 1940s and beyond. The collection includes key designs by James Northfield, Australia's best-loved graphic artist of the era. We also carry a collection of modern subjects which lovingly revive the charm of 20th Century art and design.