An image of Aboriginal family group

Julian Ashton

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

Aboriginal family group

Other titles:
Gib it bacca Boss, Give blackfellow tobacco boss!
Not on display
Further information

Julian Ashton was born in England and studied at the Royal Academy School, London, and at the Académie Julian, Paris, before coming to Australia in 1878 to work for the 'Illustrated Australian News' and 'Australasian Sketcher' in Melbourne. He moved to Sydney in 1883 to work on 'The picturesque atlas of Australasia'. Ashton was a major influence on the appreciation and teaching of art in Sydney, establishing his own art school, which still operates today. He was President of the Art Society of NSW and a trustee of the AGNSW.

According to his autobiography, 'Now came still evening on' (1941) pg 53 Ashton visited an Aboriginal camp some miles out of Kiama on the south coast of NSW, where he remembered seeing "a fine looking native and his two lubras… They lived in a little construction something like an Indian wigwam. They had two children – a boy of about six years and the other just out of babyhood. I persuaded the father to allow me to make a drawing of them. He stood with his hand out and holding the younger child in his arms."

Place of origin
Kiama, New South Wales, Australia
(circa 1886)
pencil, watercolour, white gouache
38.0 x 25.3 cm sheet
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., "J.R. Ashton 188 (illeg.)".

Purchased 1888
Accession number