An image of The prospector

Julian Ashton

(England, Australia 27 Jan 1851 – 27 Apr 1942)

The prospector

19th c Australian art
Further information

This heroic representation of an Australian ‘type’ is more a character study than a portrait, recalling the artist’s work as a newspaper illustrator. Posed and painted in the studio, the work is formally arranged with the basic implements of the gold digger’s trade carefully displayed. It presents an image of the prospector as a genuine Australian fellow, stained by his labours and tanned by the sun.Though somewhat constructed and theatrical, the painting retains a sense of human vitality.

Julian Ashton instructed several generations of important painters through his Sydney Art School. He became a trustee of the Gallery in 1888, championing the purchase of Australian art, including many paintings hanging nearby.

oil on canvas on hardboard
213.4 x 116.9 cm board; 233.0 x 137.3 x 5.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l. corner, brown oil "J.R. ASHTON. 1889".
Purchased 1889
Accession number
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