In a letter, dated 26 December 1960, to the curator of Australian art, Daniel Thomas, the artist wrote:
"The 'Miraculous Draught of Fishes' was begun at the end of 1959 and completed in January 1960. It was one of many paintings which I have been working on for the last two or three years in which the sea has been the major subject. The 'Miracuous Draught' was a theme that I had been concerned with for some time, and one which I hope to develop further. Of two accounts of a great draught of fishes in the New Testament, the dramatic beautry of the one in Luke, with the breaking of the nets and the sinking ships, seemed to have a sort of tension and richness which, to me (at that moment, anyway) had to be expressed in paint, rather than the calmer story as told in John, chapter 25".
The painting was awarded the Darcy Morris Memorial Prize for a scriptural subject at the 1960 Blake Prize competition, in which this work was entered and subsequently exhibited.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2005
The miraculous draught of fishes - Luke V
oil on hardboard
91.5 x 121.9 cm board; 95.6 x 126.1 x 4.3 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, black oil "Jean Appleton". Not dated.
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 5 exhibitions
The Blake Prize 1960, Mark Foys Gallery, 24 Feb 1960–09 Mar 1960
Selections from the Blake Prize 1960:
Purchases and Acquisitions for 1960, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Mar 1961–23 Apr 1961
Religious art: from the permanent collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 1961–20 Aug 1961
Jean Appleton survey exhibition (1996), Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown, 13 Sep 1996–17 Oct 1996
Referenced in 10 publications
Blake Society for Religious Art, Blake Prize 1960, Sydney, 1960. cat.no. 1; titled 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes'; price: 125 gns.
Deborah Edwards, Jean Appleton - A lifetime with art, 'The Constructed Interior', pg. 87-132, Sydney, 1998, 126, 127 (colour illus.).
Suellyn Luckett, Jean Appleton: Paintings 1945-1995, New South Wales, Sep 1996, Back cover (colour illus.).
Angus Maude (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 24 Feb 1960.
Angus Maude (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 23 Feb 1960, (illus.).
Unknown (Editor), Sun-Herald, Sydney, 24 Feb 1960.
Editor Unknown, Observer, Sydney, 05 Mar 1960.
Editor Unknown, Catholic weekly, Sydney, 03 Mar 1960.
Unknown (Editor), Sun, Sydney, 22 Feb 1960.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily Mirror, Sydney, 24 Feb 1960.