Collection Online
Medium
oil on canvas
Measurements
134.8 × 193.7 cm
Accession Number
p.312.1-1
Department
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1887
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
Provenance

Purchased from the artist by Thomas Agnew & Sons (dealer), London, 27 April 1887, stock no. 4465; from where purchased, on the advice of Edward Langton, for the NGV, 2 May 1887.



Exhibited Royal Academy, London, 1887, no. 291; Second Intercolonial Exhibition, Sydney, 1896, no. 3; Royal Academy, London, 1968–69, no. 329; Sir William Quiller Orchardson RA, organised by the Scottish Arts Council, Edinburgh (and touring), 1972, no. 49; Sex, Sentiment and Symbol: Representations of Women in Victorian Art, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand, 1998–99; Love and Death, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2001.

Exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1887, The first cloud is one of William Quiller Orchardson’s finest commentaries on the social life and manners of his time. Orchardson observes a couple who have just returned from an evening out (they are elegantly attired, but there is no fire in the grate). The evening has turned sour, however, the implication being that this cloud is but the first in a storm that threatens to engulf their marriage.

Frame

William Quiller ORCHARDSON
The first cloud 1887
Framemaker
Unknown - 19th century
Date
1887
Materials

timber, composition, gold leaf

Condition

good original condition

Dimensions
188 x 247 x 23 cm
About

The frame on The first cloud is contemporary with the painting and came into the collection with the painting in 1887. It is a large format Academy frame.
The richly ornamented cassetta form makes reference to Italian frames of the C16th and C17th.