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  • Title
    [Goldminer], 1861 / oil painting by J. Anderson
  • Creator
  • Call number
    ML 1349
    Status: On display – Paintings from the Collection, Room 2, North Wall, no. 137
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    1 painting - oil on canvas - 75 x 62.8 cm. (image, sight)

    James Anderson, portrait painter and member of the Royal Hibernian Academy, emigrated from Ireland to Australia in 1852-1853. Initially he lived in Victoria where he contributed to the Victorian Fine Arts Exhibition in Melbourne in 1853 and 1854. By 1858, Anderson had moved to Sydney and continued to paint portraits advertising in the Sands Directory of Sydney for 1861. -- Reference: Dictionary of Australian artists / Joan Kerr, editor. [Sydney] : Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney, 1984
  • Scope and Content
    The man in this portrait is dressed in a white shirt with brown-coloured wool trousers that are tucked into leather boots that extend over the knee, and a cabbage tree hat with shallow round crown and a 'pugaree' or fly veil rolled up at the front. Draped over one arm is a red wool Crimea shirt.
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright: Artist died before 1955
    Please acknowledge:: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • General note

    This oil painting is of an Australian bushman, or possibly a goldminer, an occupation suggested by the pick and shovel carried over the subject's left shoulder. It is an unusual painting for Anderson being a genre image rather than a formal oil portrait for which he is now mostly known. During the third quarter of the nineteenth century, Australian bush and gold mining life became the principal subject for popular artists such as S.T. Gill and George Lacy. The notion of Australians as sturdy independent bush types, defined by the bush experience, was beginning to take hold during this period. This oil is an early example of the subject moving from popular illustration to the more sophisticated and formal genre of oil painting.

    Curator of Pictures, June 2004
    Digital order no:a128879
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    Signed and dated at lower left, "Jms. Anderson / Pinxit / 1861"
  • Subject
  • Topic
  • Exhibited in

    Pride of place - State Library of New South Wales (27 September - 29 November, 2004)
    Built for the bush : the green architecture of rural Australia - Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales (February, 2010 - July, 2010)
    Paintings from the Collection - State Library of New South Wales (October, 2018 - )
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