C1902

H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York Opening the First Commonwealth Parliament of Australia May 9th 1901.

Rare and impressive photogravure recording the opening of Parliament by Charles Nuttall (1872-1934) at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne on 9 May 1901. Charles Nuttall was commissioned by the Historical Picture Association to paint the opening of the first … Read Full Description

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S/N: FED-1902-NUTT-001–230768
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Details

Full Title:

H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York Opening the First Commonwealth Parliament of Australia May 9th 1901.

Date:

C1902

Condition:

Two repaired tears: Left 30mm into image, Right 120mm into image, otherwise in good condition.

Technique:

Photogravure printed in sepia.

Image Size: 

945mm 
x 470mm

Paper Size: 

1030mm 
x 610mm
AUTHENTICITY
H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York Opening the First Commonwealth Parliament of Australia May 9th 1901. - Antique Print from 1902

Genuine antique
dated:

1902

Description:

Rare and impressive photogravure recording the opening of Parliament by Charles Nuttall (1872-1934) at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne on 9 May 1901.

Charles Nuttall was commissioned by the Historical Picture Association to paint the opening of the first Federal Parliament on 9 May 1901. He brief was to include as many well known faces in the painting as possible on a canvas 12 feet by 8 feet. He began working on the painting on 19 August 1901 in a studio within the Exhibition Building, and the painting was unveiled on 19 June 1902. 

There are 344 identifiable ‘persons’ in the painting.

Once completed, the painting was shipped to Paris so that photogravures could be made from it by the reknown firm of Goupil et Cie. 

It was reported in the Adelaide Register at the time that the ‘reproduction will be the largest ever made on a steel plate, being 42 inches in length, and the people of Australia will thus be in possession of a faithful record, painted on the spot, of the greatest event in our national history’. 

By March 1903, the painting had been shipped to London where photogravure prints were produced by ‘Mr. James Greves, the well-known fine art publisher, of New Bridge street’. While in London, the painting was sent to Buckingham Palace so that it could be inspected by King Edward VII, before being exhibited in July at McLean’s Gallery in the Haymarket.

Forty ‘artist’s proofs’ were made available for £15 15s, another limited run of sixty-five proofs were made available for £10 10s. while the ‘best India prints’ could be bought relatively cheaply for £3 3s.

Copies of this ‘realistic’ painting were reproduced and hung in public buildings, state and secondary schools, libraries, friendly society lodges and in the homes of Australians nationwide. It was this image which helped keep Federation alive in the public’s mind in the first decades of the twentieth century.

Collections:
National Library Australia: Bib ID 8034114
State Library New South Wales: Call Numbers LPG/31
State Library South Australia: B 61432
National Gallery Australia: Not found in collection
State Library Victoria: Accession no: H29661
Museums Victoria Collections: Item HT 33596

Charles Nuttall (1872 - 1934)

Charles Nuttall (1872-1934) Nuttall was an Australian artist, son of James Charles Nuttall, born at Fitzroy, Victoria. He received his art training at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, under Frederick McCubbin and was a contributor of drawings to the Bulletin, Life, and other journals. In 1902 painted the Opening of First Commonwealth Parliament. In 1905 Nuttall moved to the United States, joined the staff of the New York Herald, and contributed to Life, The Century and Harper's.  Nuttall, who was color blind, specialised in black and white, gouache and monochrome work. After a tour in Europe he returned to Australia in 1910, and frequently exhibited drawings and etchings and wrote stories and articles, and was establishing a reputation as a broadcaster. He died at South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria, on 28 November 1934.

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