Robert DOWLING
England 1827 – England 1886
Australia 1834-1857, 1884-1886

Early effort - art in Australia 1860
oil on canvas on board
76.6 (h) x 122.3 (w) cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne , Felton Bequest 1934

Early effort—art in Australia was painted in London and recalls the artist’s professional journey. It celebrates his colonial background as Robert Dowling ‘from Tasmania’ (as the back of the painting is inscribed). In front of the settler’s hut the young artist, surrounded by an encouraging family, paints a group of Aboriginal people, as he had done in Australia in 1856 and 1857.