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Triumphal Arch at Princes Bridge, Melbourne Theme: Beginnings

Artist: Frederick MCCUBBIN
Birth/Death: 1855–1917

Title: Triumphal Arch at Princes Bridge, Melbourne

Credit Line: Gift of Hugh McCubbin to the Commonwealth to mark the centenary of the birth of Frederick McCubbin, 1955. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Frederick McCubbin painted this oil sketch, Triumphal Arch at Princes Bridge, Melbourne in 1901, possibly during the procession. In May the grand ceremony of the opening of the Commonwealth Parliament took place and this temporary arch was created for the triumphal procession of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York.

The arch dominates the composition on the left connecting the dark, scumbled foreground with the luminous gold brushstrokes of the sky. The procession is indicated by columns and fluttering banners. Although no figures are seen there is a sense of pageantry more fully explored in his later painting, Princes Bridge 1908.

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