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ON DISPLAY
LVL 2

Australian Art
Australian Impressionism gallery

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Tom ROBERTS

Dorchester, England 1856 – Kallista, Victoria, Australia 1931

  • Movements: Australia from 1869
  • England, Europe 1881- 85, 1903-23

In a corner on the Macintyre
[Thunderbolt in an encounter with police at Paradise Creek] 1895 Inverell, New South Wales, Australia
paintings, oil on canvas
Technique: oil on canvas
Primary Insc: No inscriptions
71.1 h x 86.4 w
framed 97.3 h x 112.4 w x 2.5 d cm
Purchased 1971
Accession No: NGA 71.109

MORE DETAIL

  • Tom Roberts painted In a corner on the Macintyre at Newstead, near Inverell, in New South Wales. The bushranger Captain Thunderbolt (Frederick Ward) had worked in this area some years earlier. Roberts visited Newstead, where he painted the bushranging subject Bailed up 1895 and In a corner on the Macintyre.

    One reading of the painting is that it depicts Captain Thunderbolt’s last stand in 1870, with the bushranger sheltering behind a boulder to the left of the horse, a trooper at the top of the cliff and puffs of smoke from rifle fire suggesting the presence of other troopers. The mood of this painting, however, is quiet rather than heroic, which suggests that Roberts was as much interested in conveying the poetry of the landscape as he was in telling a story. He captured the stillness, heat and light of the Australian bush, the translucent water at the foot of a natural rock wall, a snatch of nature. He gave the image a veracity and immediacy, creating the effect of coming upon a scene as one would in nature. It first appears tranquil and seemingly uninhabited; only after careful looking do the horse and crouching man become evident.


    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
    From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008