BURNLEY, c.1914

Important Australian + International Fine Art
21 April 2021


(1855 – 1917)
BURNLEY, c.1914

oil on canvas board

25.5 x 35.5 cm

signed lower left: F McCubbin
bears inscription verso: F. McCubbin / Burnley / c.1914 (indistinct)

$30,000 – 40,000
Sold for $36,818 (inc. BP) in Auction 64 - 21 April 2021, Melbourne

Hugh McCubbin
Dr John McCubbin, until 1976
Leonard Joel, Melbourne, 4 November 1976, lot 236 (as 'South Yarra Landscape')
John H. Robinson
Jean Robinson, thence by descent
Private collection, Victoria

Catalogue text

Burnley, c.1914 is one of a series of small studies that Frederick McCubbin made of the landscape and buildings around Burnley, many of which feature the Burnley quarry. After his return from Europe at the end of 1907, McCubbin moved with his family to the rented property ‘Carlesberg’, a historic house at 42 Kensington Road, South Yarra, which offered a large garden and views across the Yarra river, to the city and the nearby suburb of Burnley.

McCubbin’s paintings, after his only trip to Europe, were characterised by a lighter palette and a much looser application of paint, reflecting the influence of artists such as the Romanticist J.M.W Turner, as well as Corot, Monet and his English contemporary, George Clausen. The use of a palette knife is also evident in many of these paintings from the last years of his career.

Although McCubbin is principally known for large scale paintings which depict subjects drawn from Australian pioneering life, he considered his smaller works a significant aspect of his art. As Anne Gray, Curator of the National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition McCubbin: Last Impressions has indicated, ‘McCubbin’s art was most remarkable during his final years. The late McCubbin is one of the top 10 artists in Australia. His daring, his experimental painterliness, and his ability to capture the Australian landscape produced some incredible work.’1

1. Anne Gray cited in Perkin, C., ‘Such Dreams of Colour’, Weekend Australian, 8-9 August 2009, p.4