Frederick MCCUBBIN | The lime tree (Yarra River from Kensington Road, South Yarra)

Frederick MCCUBBIN
Australia 1855 – 1917

The lime tree (Yarra River from Kensington Road, South Yarra) 1917
oil on canvas mounted on panel
signed lower left 'F. McCubbin'
98.2 (h) x 111.0 (w) cm
Private collection


McCubbin’s daughter Kathleen wrote of this painting:

I always remember the name of this work as The Lime Tree and it really has a lot of sentimental value for me because it was painted from the side verandah of our house in South Yarra, overlooking the quarry. That has all disappeared now. In those times there were quarries beside the Yarra and an old stone crusher in Richmond, opposite our place. This particular painting is also of very great sentimental value for me because it was the last painting my father ever painted and it was not long after its completion that he died.

I remember coming home from school and I used to walk up Rockley Road with school friends and take the short cut across to our place, across the paddocks. I would see my father sitting on the verandah in his dressing-gown and black velvet beret, which he always put on when he went outside at that stage of his life, and he would be painting this picture of The Lime Tree. He was really in very poor health at that time, but he persisted and he kept on painting it until it was finished. This was the last painting he ever painted, and it was sold. I remember it being sold to Thomas Lothian, the publisher, but then he sold it and I lost track of it (Kathleen Mangan, quoted in Mackenzie 1990, p 208).

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