National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of G. J. Coles and Company Pty Ltd, Governor, 1981
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Frederick McCubbin painted this work while a student of George Folingsby at the National Gallery School, Melbourne. It shows the influence of Folingsby’s teaching in its domestic genre, dramatic storyline, carefully controlled lighting and a grey-brown palette enlivened with red and purple. McCubbin has given this mid-Victorian narrative a strong Australian flavour with a bearded swagman, bedroll on his shoulder, returning home.