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Australian art

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The gardener

(circa 1910)


Frederick McCubbin


25 Feb 1855 - 20 Dec 1917


This important work was painted around 1910 after McCubbin had returned from his first overseas trip and was living in South Yarra. With it’s sparkling texture and romantic colour it shows the influence of Turner whom McCubbin so admired. The looseness of the paint work and the use of the palette knife is very free and more impressionist in the French tradition than other paintings of the Australian Impressionist group. The scene, probably in the artist’s back garden, reveals McCubbin’s innate lyricism and the choice of his humble subject reveals his affinity to Buvelot. The beauty and vitality of the painting shows McCubbin at the peak of this late style.


Place where the work was made

South Yarra Melbourne Victoria Australia


(circa 1910)

Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


76.2 x 132.0 cm stretcher; 96.2 x 152.3 x 11.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, black oil "F McCubbin". Not dated.


Purchased 1977


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Frederick McCubbin

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 4 publications


Okko Boer, Masters of the Heidelberg School, Leichhardt, 1998, 74 (colour illus.). plate no. 74

Edmund Capon AM, OBE and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'Australian Art in the Old Courts', pg. 24-37, Sydney, 1984, 36 (colour illus.).

Barry Pearce and Haruo Arikawa, Two hundred years of Australian painting: nature, people and art in the southern continent, Tokyo, 1992, 84 (colour illus.). 39

Vivienne Webb, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Golden age', pg. 37-38, Sydney, 2000, 70 (colour illus.), 71 (colour illus, detail), 301.