Collection Online
The charcoal burners
oil on canvas
87.0 × 124.8 cm
inscribed in brown paint l.l.: R Beavis
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Bequest of Alfred Felton, 1904
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Exhibited Royal Academy, London, 1874, no. 574; purchased from the artist by Agnew’s (dealer), London, 1 April 1874, stock no. 8432[1]; sold to Saul Armitage, 2 October 1874; from whom re-purchased by Agnew’s (dealer), London, 7 December 1874, stock no. 9014[2]; sold to Robert Millington Knowles Esq. (1843–1924), High Sherriff of Nottinghamshire, 8 December 1874[3]; his collection, Colston Bassett Hall, Colston Bassett, until 1890s; exhibited Summer Exhibition, New Gallery, London, May 1890, no. 171 as Charcoal-burning in Monmouthshire; collection of Martin Loughlin (1833–94), Ballarat, before 1894[4]; included in the James MacBain sale, Fraser & Co. Ltd, Melbourne, 7 February 1895[5]; from where purchased by Alfred Felton (1831–1904); his collection, Melbourne, until 1904; bequeathed to the NGV, 1904.

[1] See Agnew’s Picture Stockbook 1871–74, NGA27/1/1/4, pp. 270-71, Thomas Agnew & Sons archive, National Gallery Research Centre, London, accessed

[2] See Agnew’s Picture Stockbook 1874–79, NGA27/1/1/5, pp. 48-49, Thomas Agnew & Sons archive, National Gallery Research Centre, London, accessed

[3] Colston Bassett Hall was purchased by Knowles, originally from Lancashire, in 1877. Knowles immersed himself in the local community, funding the construction of a new parish church. See

[4] Loughlin was a mining magnate and owner of racehorses. He arrived in Victoria in 1855 and made his fortune mining alluvial gold. See Austin McCallum, 'Loughlin, Martin (1833–1894)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1974, accessible via link.

[5] ‘The late Sir James MacBain’s Paintings’ in The Argus, Wednesday 6 February 1895, p. 6, and ‘Sale of Paintings’ in The Age, Saturday 9 February 1895, p. 8, Lot number unknown.

Exhibited: Royal Academy, London, 1874, no. 574; loaned to Midland Counties Art Museum, Nottingham, 1878[1]; Jubilee Exhibition, Manchester, 1887, no. 400, lent by R. M. Knowles Esq.; Summer Exhibition, New Gallery, London, May 1890, no. 171 as Charcoal-burning in Monmouthshire.

[1] Official Catalogue of the Pictures and Objects in the Midland Counties Art Museum, The Castle, Nottingham, compiled and edited by J. P. Briscoe, F.R.H.S., Nottingham: T. Forman and Sons, 1878, p. 62, cat. 31 (North staircase).

Richard Beavis painted of a wide range of subjects, including landscape, Orientalist images, military, rustic and animal scenes and exhibited often at the Royal Society of British Artists. This depiction of the production of charcoal was owned by the NGV’s greatest benefactor, Alfred Felton. This is fitting as amongst Alfred Felton’s many enterprises was the production of charcoal. This picture had pride of place in his collection, exhibited on a large easel, which jutted out into the central floor space of his apartment at the Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda.


Unknown - 19th century

good original condition


Location of stamp
Upper right quadrant of reverse of canvas, also stamped at centre of stretcher cross braces ROBER.../...../99...ACRE
Ink stamps
More Information
National Portrait Gallery