Collection Online
oil on canvas
110.0 × 153.5 cm
Place/s of Execution
Melbourne, Victoria
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Accessioned, 1967
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

By 1890, Aby Altson was the National Gallery School’s star pupil and with Flood sufferings he carried off the second triennial travelling scholarship. Not long before, a disastrous flood at Bourke had made headline news and so, as The Australasian Critic remarked, Altson’s topical subject ‘probably had quite as much effect as its treatment in securing the honour that has been bestowed upon it. A strong prejudice prevails in Australia in favour of pictures describing local incidents or characters – a prejudice which future contestants for the scholarship would do well to bear in mind.’

The Age newspaper also sang the painting’s praises, reporting on 13 November 1890 that ‘the picture of the year is undoubtedly Mr Altson’s Flood sufferings … the homely realism of the scene is, perhaps, its greatest charm.’