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Weighing the fleece Theme: Boom & Bust

Artist: George W. LAMBERT
Birth/Death: 1873–1930

Title: Weighing the fleece

Credit Line: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Commissioned by New South Wales grazier Leigh Sadlier Falkiner in 1921, during a period of great prosperity in postwar Australia, the centrepiece of Weighing the fleece is the abundant freshly shorn wool from his champion merino rams. Although this work has become an iconic image of Australian pastoral prosperity, Falkiner was unhappy with the portrayal of himself and his wife Beatrice and chose not to buy it. Falkiner is portrayed enjoying a moment of intense pride as his champion merino rams are shown to their best advantage. The record price fleece is held aloft. Its weight is being recorded by Falkiner’s tall nephew, and the bookkeeper, while the two bowed shearers concentrate on handling the rams. Mrs Falkiner, dressed in her elegant 1920s clothes, looks on.

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