About the NGV
National Gallery of Victoria

Exiles and Emigrants
Education Resource

The New Land


Frederick McCubbin
The Pioneer 1904

This triptych was painted by Frederick McCubbin who was born in West Melbourne in 1855. He and fellow artists, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Charles Condor were responsible for developing an impressionistic approach towards painting, known as the Heidelberg School. They illustrated scenes of nationalistic concern, creating a distinctive Australian style. One of the best known Australian images, this art work was painted after Federation (1901) and celebrates the achievements of the pioneers. Divided into panels, this painting depicts different episodes in the lives of early settlers.

Frederick McCubbin
Australian 18551917
The pioneer 1904
oil on canvas
225.0 x 295.7 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1906


NGV: Art like never before