Percy LEASON, The woodcutter Enlarge 1 /1


Kaniva, Victoria, Australia 1889 – New York, United States of America 1959

  • United States of America from 1938

The woodcutter 1914 Place made: Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, oil on board

Primary Insc: incised in oil paint lower right, 'Percy Leason / 1914'.
Dimensions: 45.5 h x 35.5 w cm frame 635 h x 505 w x 60 d mm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2011
Accession No: NGA 2011.1282
Image rights: Permission granted in memory of Percy Leason

The woodcutter is late in the context of Federation art but early in Percy Leason’s painting career, when he had just completed studies at the National Gallery School in Melbourne. Leason was at this time fervently opposed to the modern developments in European art that were starting to influence Australian painters.

The white Australian rural worker in Federation landscape painting presented the idealised ‘typically Australian’ bush character of strength, masculinity and rugged yet unassuming heroism. In The woodcutter, Leason suggests nostalgia for the disappearing era of labouring by hand as rural industries became increasingly mechanised.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2013
From: Miriam kelly, Capital & Country: The Federation Years 1900 – 1913, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2013