Collection Online
oil on canvas
53.5 × 117.1 cm
Place/s of Execution
Melbourne, Victoria
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Dr Margaret Sutherland, 1972
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display


A midsummer day (c. 1893)
John Thallon

This frame is made from a single plank of softwood, 9 ins. wide and 1½ ins thick. The plank has been tapered across its width and joined at the corners with lapped halving joints. These joints are mitred on the face and part- mitred on the reverse and are secured with screws. The working edge is built up with an additional strip of timber. On the front of the frame the frieze panel is defined by the addition of half-round softwood strips towards the outer edge and near the sight edge. The strips are nailed in place. The frieze itself is covered with embossed wallpaper, or Japanese leather paper. The pattern is of peacocks on a background of rippled water or knotted wood. The frieze section is surfaced with gold coloured paint, the relief of the design being defined by a wash of darker paint. The remaining timber surfaces of the frame are stained dark.


It is not clear whether the surfaces we see are the original ones, but it is reasonable to assume that the articulation of tone and variation between timber and painted wallpaper reflects the initial intention.

97.0 x 160.5 x 6.0 cm; sight 51.5 x 115.0 cm
A midsummer day (c. 1893)

This unusual frame is attributed to John Thallon on the basis of the documented use of the frame maker by the artist, though it does not appear in Thallon’s ledger (1888–1903). The form of the corner construction is reminiscent of the construction of the frame used by Tom Roberts for Shearing the rams (4654-3). This frame is nevertheless a rare example of the use of embossed paper as a decorative element in the collection of frames. The pattern brings to mind the Aesthetic movement and the frame reflects a taste of Aestheticism, perhaps more than any other in the collection.