We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Title

Dawnbreakers

1939

Artist

Herbert McClintock

Australia

20 Nov 1906 - 16 Apr 1985

  • Details

    Date
    1939
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    oil on canvas on hardboard
    Dimensions
    50.7 x 74.5 cm board; 67.0 x 90.7 x 5.2 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.l. corner, beige oil "MAX EBERT 39".

    Credit
    Purchased 1969
    Location
    20th & 21st c Australian art
    Accession number
    OA3.1969
    Copyright
    © Estate of Herbert McClintock

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    Artist information
    Herbert McClintock

    Works in the collection

    4

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  • About

    The painting portrays many people awakening in the morning hours of a city’s life; the white surf of their consciousness riding the crest of the vast waves of the mind’s sea as it breaks upon the sands of the morning; and the first objects of the real world – alarm clocks, breakfast trays, trains to be caught – impinge upon dreams and bring an awareness of the passing of time. Something of the illimitable reaches of the mind, and its retention of not only infantile experiences, but also age-old remnants washed up from the ocean-deeps of man’s existence as a social being, are indicated by the strange negroid and Easter Island-like statues that stand beyond the crest of the farthest waves; islanded in the waters of a dream-world, from which men sail back downwards to consciousness and the necessities of a new day.

    Bernard Smith, 1945

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

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