Collection Online

Numb fingers working while the eye of morn is yet bedimmed with tears

oil on canvas
46.0 × 66.2 cm
Place/s of Execution
Melbourne, Victoria
inscribed in red paint l.r.: J. Sutherland 1888
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Dr Margaret Sutherland, 1972
© The estate of Inge King
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
Subjects (general)
Daily Life Human Figures Landscapes
Subjects (specific)
Australia (nation) farming (activity or system) fields (land) Melbourne (inhabited place) morning Victoria (state) women (female humans)
Australian Impressionism


FRAME: Original, by John Thallon, Melbourne, surface not original

Though the frame has been resurfaced it is still representative of a style derived from the basic cassetta form. It was likely to have originally been similar in finish to the frame on Norman Macgeorge’s Mother-of-pearl (258-2). The dark timber veneer contrasts with the oil-gilded ornament. This is the frame listed in Thallon’s ledger on 13 October 1888, under Miss Sutherland, thus: 1 frame wide oak with gold (M) outside [laurel dark with 1 (in.) flat] the whole to be 5 ½ (in.) wide 26 x 18 R. The frame cost £2.12.

John Thallon
209 Little Collins Street East, Melbourne

The frame is based on a tapering wooden flat, veneered with oak and mitred at the corners, giving a concave bevel to the veneered section. The torus ornament is cast composition, small-scale laurel and berry. The outer section carrying the ornament sits on top of the flat.


All the surfaces have been reworked, including the veneer section, which is now very dark.

73.5 x 94.5 x 4.5 cm; sight 43.5 x 64.5 cm