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Great Barrier Reef - Vintage Travel Poster by James Northfield

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The exotic colours of Queensland's Great Barrier Reef come to life in this Australian vintage art print by master designer James Northfield. The designer concentrates on the Cardinal Fish, Lion Fish and the Giant Clam, but his real purpose seems to be to suggest an inviting underwater world where people can easily explore. He resourcefully uses a number of landscape conventions to suggest the amenability of this world, constructing an horizon of sorts and using something close to aerial perspective to create depth in the scene. The resulting scenario looks almost as much like a Technicolor forest glade or cottage garden as it does an underwater reef.

Northfield's audience would have been comfortable with these illustrative conventions and we can assume this approach was successful in making the area seem an accessible and friendly holiday destination.

© 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.