An emigrant's thoughts of home
- oil on cardboard
- 60.7 × 47.0 cm
- Place/s of Execution
- London, England
- Accession Number
- Australian Painting
- Credit Line
- National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented by the National Gallery Women's Association, 1974
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
- Gallery location
- Gallery 5
Level 2, NGV Australia
- About the work
The emigration of millions of British people in the nineteenth century to countries throughout the world inspired a genre of painting that focused on the emotional impact of departure from home and arrival in a new land.
While not specifically about Australia, Marshall Claxton's image represents the more sentimental aspects of migration. The young émigré depicted stands on the ship’s deck, her hands clasped demurely in front of her as she stares wistfully out to sea. She appears passive and vulnerable, caught between the world she has left behind and the uncertainty of the new world that lies ahead.
The painting is unusual in that it focuses on female emigration. Initially more men emigrated to Australia than women. To address this gender imbalance, the British Government developed incentives to encourage single women to emigrate.