“Down On His Luck” by Frederick McCubbin


“McCubbin in his present picture, ‘Down on His Luck’ has left all his former work far behind, and raises expectation in no ordinary degree as to what he will yet accomplish. The scene represents a forest glade, with the evening shadows gradually stealing over the trees, and causing them, as they recede into the forest, to be enshrouded in faint grey mist. In the foreground is a human figure seated on the ground, after the style of a bushman, and yet conveying the idea that he has once been far different. The face tells of hardships keen and blighting in their influence, but there is a nonchalant and slightly cynical expression, which proclaims the absence of all self pity … McCubbin’s picture is thoroughly Australian in spirit.”

Table Talk magazine, 26 April 1889


1 Comment

Filed under Art

One response to ““Down On His Luck” by Frederick McCubbin

  1. Frederick McCubbin was born in Melbourne, Australia on 25 February 1855, and died 20 December 1917, aged 62 years. ‘Down on His Luck’ was painted in 1889, depicting a swagman sitting by a campfire and, as the title suggests, looking a bit down.
    The fellow in the painting was a friend of the artist, Louis Abrahams, who was an unsuccessful gold prospector. The painting is owned by the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

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