Sunday, August 9, 2009

Frederick McCubbin (Thanks, Matt)

We have another Matt person today.

So far I'm having fun with the Matt people...knock on wood.

Who is Frederick McCubbin?

I don't know.

I shall go and find out.

Oh! This is good. He's a painter, and connects well with who I researched yesterday. Like Tom Roberts, McCubbin was part of the Heidelberg School.

Lord Wiki has one of his paintings. It's amazing. It almost looks like a photograph.

Baby Frederick was was born 25 February 1855.

He was a Pisces like my sister, and also like Tom Roberts. Maybe Pisces people are good at art.

This astrology website says that the Pisces tend to withdraw into a dream world where their qualities can bring mental satisfaction and sometimes, fame and financial reward for they are extremely gifted artistically.

So it IS a sign that would fit an artist well.

Still there are many Pisces who don't fit the description provided. For that reason (and others) I'm personally unable to put too much faith in astrology. I do think it's fun though, and it MIGHT have some other merits.

The birthday website says McCubbin is a 1. That's Tim's number. It's about independence and leadership.

Baby Frederick was born in Sydney.

His daddy was a baker from Scotland.

Frederick had seven siblings. He was baby number three.

Frederick went to William Willmott's West Melbourne Common school. I can't find a website for that, so I guess it's gone now.

Was there a mistake about him being born in Sydney? Or was he born in Sydney, and then they moved to Melbourne?

He was also educated at St. Paul's on Swanston Street. I can't find anything about a school, but there is still a St. Paul's church. It seems to be pretty famous.

At one time, McCubbin had a job as a coach painter. Does that mean he made painting of coaches, or does it mean he literally painted the coach?

You know it's like when someone today says they're a painter. And I'm not sure if they mean they're an artist, or they paint houses. I think there's a pretty big difference.

McCubbin also worked in the family bakery business. I wonder if they sold yummy stuff. Had cupcakes been invented yet?

Well, Lord Wiki says they've been around since the early 19th century. So maybe the McCubbin bakery did sell them. Cool. I'm betting mostly they sold bread though.

My sister's friend owns a cupcake shop in Chicago. It's called Sugar Bliss, and the cupcakes are VERY yummy. If anyone visits Chicago, go get yourself some!

While McCubbin worked, he went to the National Gallery of Victoria's School of Design. Tom Roberts went there. Did I mention that yesterday? I don't think I did; but I did read it. I can't mention EVERYTHING...... I probably should have mentioned that though. Sorry.

The school is now known as the Victorian College of the Arts. It's part of the University of Melbourne.

McCubbin also studied at the Victorian Academy of the Arts. I found a Victorian Academy of Fine Arts. I wonder if that's the same place. I think Victoria has a habit of changing the names of their schools. Didn't they change the name of the teaching school that Rachel Griffith went to...or it got sucked up and swallowed by another school?

Well, actually this new school is probably NOT a revamped version of the Victorian Academy of the Arts. Their website says they were established six years ago.

Anyway, at this mysterious Victorian Academy of Fine Arts, McCubbin exhibited his paintings. And in 1880, he finally sold one. He would have been about twenty-five.

Daddy McCubbin died around this time, so McCubbin had to take care of the bakery. I wonder if he ever did anything artistic with the pastries. Although maybe they didn't even sell pastries. Maybe they just sold bread.

I'm talking about food a lot because I'm actually kind of hungry right now.

Lord Wiki says that McCubbin did well in the 1880's. His painting attracted attention. He won some prizes.

In 1888, he became an instructor at the National Gallery School of Design.

McCubbin did a little traveling....including a trip to England and a trip to Tasmania. But for the most part he stayed in Victoria.

He got married in 1889. The 1880's were a really important decade for this guy.

Mr. and Mrs. McCubbin had seven children.

In 1901 they moved to a place in Victoria called Mount Macedon. It's about an hour north of Melbourne.

In 1917 he died of a heart attack that came from having Gonorrhea. Yikes.

All right. I'm done with Lord Wiki.

I shall have to go somewhere else now.

I'll look at the biographical dictionary site.

They give the exact location of his birth. 165 King Street.

I'm looking at it on Google Maps right now. It's right near Bourke Street which sounds familiar to me. It's very close to a park called Flagstaff Gardens.

Oh! Remember Lord Wiki said McCubbin was born in Sydney. So, he got that wrong. Shame on you, Lord Wiki!

This website has a bunch of photos of modern day King Street.

In 1869, McCubbin attended the Artisans' School of Design. This was in Carlton. Lygon street is here, and that's known as being Melbourne's Little Italy.

I was thinking Carlton sounded familiar. Then Lord Wiki nudged my memory. Carlton Gardens! That's there too.

In 1875, Carlton finished his coach-painting apprenticeship. He wanted to further his studies at the gallery, but then his dad died. That messed things up a bit. He had to work in the bakery.

As we know though, he did eventually get back into the art stuff.

McCubbin was nicknamed Proff because he did a lot of philosophizing. Was Proff like professor?

McCubbin and his wife moved around a bit...jumped from suburb to suburb in Melbourne. I wonder why? It's not like he'd have to move for his job. Did they just get tired of living in the same house? Maybe McCubbin knew he'd be famous and wanted to allow more people to say I live on the street where Frederick McCubbin used to live.

This website just says he had heart disease; no mention of Gonorrhea. I think Lord Wiki was making things up.

I think now I shall look at the McCubbin's paintings.

This website has some of his paintings.

I think I like this site. It's easy to work with and they provide information about each of the photos.

Here we have something called Old Politician. McCubbin painted it when he was about twenty-four.

I'm very impressed. I like it a lot. This is totally my type of art.

The man in the painting is the coach builder that McCubbin did his apprenticeship with. It's so neat to be able to sit here and see the guy. He looks pretty nice. And he did let McCubbin paint him, so I bet he was supportive of McCubbin's art aspirations.

This painting is called Falls Bridge. I like it less than the previous one, but it's not too bad. The painting is of the Yarra River viewed from Princes Bridge. There's also a fish market. I wouldn't have known that if the website hadn't pointed it out to me.

Is there still a Princes Bridge?

Well, Lord Wiki says definitely yes. Although it seems in 1888 it was rebuilt. Ah! The website called it old Princes Bridge. I wondered what that meant. Now I get it. In the past, I made the same mistake with the Old Parliament building. I thought old was a term of Old Yeller. Although maybe the old in Old Yeller wasn't a term of endearment either. Maybe there was a New Yeller. I've actually never seen that movie. What do I know?

This next picture is called The Letter. It reminds me of Picnic at Hanging Rock. I still haven't seen that movie, but I've seen bits and pieces of it on YouTube.

The woman in the painting is one of McCubbin's sisters...Harriet. Harriet was also an art student. And she appeared in one of Tom Robert's paintings.

I love this website. It gives such awesome detailed exciting information. For example, it says that 165 King Street wasn't just the birthplace of McCubbin. It was also the location of the family bakery.

I'm looking at Street View on Google Maps right now. I wonder what is at 165 King Street today. I do see a coffee place, but I don't know if that's at 165 King Street, or near it.

Well, no. The Hudson Coffee website says their address is actually Bourke Street. They're on the corner of King.

I'm kind of obsessing here about 165 King Street. I've been searching through the White Pages and everything.

I need to just move on. When I go to Melbourne, I shall go and see it for myself.

This painting is called Lost. Sadly, I don't see Jack, Kate, or Sawyer anywhere. There's a girl in the picture. I'm not sure if I'm reading this right. I think she's McCubbin's younger sister.

This other painting connects to Lost. It's called Gathering Mistletoe. I think Lost is the sequel. The girl gathers Mistletoe, and then gets lost. Why didn't they call it something like Gathering Mistletoe II--The Rise of Terror.
This painting is called Moyers Bay, Beaumaris. It was done when McCubbin rented a cottage with some friends. One of those friends was Tom Roberts. Guess where the cottage was? Mentone. Tom Roberts did a painting of Mentone as well. I remember talking about that yesterday.

The website says near this area today (in our awesome modern times) is the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron. It doesn't look like my type of thing. I'm not into the whole yacht scene.

This painting here is so damn amazing. The man in the painting looks REAL. He's supposed to be an unsuccessful gold digger. Poor guy.

I don't think he was truly a gold digger though. I think he was just acting. His family was in the cigar business. Remember how I said that Tom Roberts and his friends painted on old cigar boxes? Well, this fake gold digger's family provided them with the cigar boxes.

I LOVE this trivia.

I am bookmarking this website. It's too much fun.

Here is a cute painting. It's called Bush Idyll. It was painted in the bush of a Melbourne suburb called Blackburn.

In this painting we can see McCubbin's wife. Although it's not a really close up view of her.

Here is a painting of McCubbin's daughter. Sadly, she died when she was three.

She was born at 86 Rathmines Road. I'm looking at the Street View now. There's a really pretty building. It might be a church? It could be a house. I don't know.

It's a very tragic story though. She got out of her pusher (is that like a stroller?) and hit her head. That's so sad.

She didn't die on Rathmines Road. She died on Wolseley Crescent in Blackburn. I'm looking at that street too on Street View. It's beautiful. There are a lot of trees.

This next painting is called On the Wallaby Track.

It shows a family struggling with poverty. In reality, the people in the painting are McCubbin's wife, their son, and his brother-in-law.

This painting is of ducks. I like it. It's sweet.

The setting of the painting is the McCubbin's property in Brighton.

This painting, The Pioneer, is the one Lord Wiki showcased. It's actually three paintings in one.

The painting is one of McCubbin's most renowned. It has a story, but it's a bit ambiguous. I guess you're supposed to use your imagination.

McCubbin's wife modeled for this painting as well.

Here's another painting of Princes Bridge. It's a depiction of the bridge during the opening of Parliament celebrations.

This painting has McCubbin's daughter playing piano.

I'm actually getting a bit tired of looking at painting. I like art...actually more than I thought I did. But I can't look at it for too long. I get antsy.

The one problem I see with the website is they don't seem to have a back up option...unless I'm missing it. I mean I couldn't get from the McCubbin page to the main site. I had to go back and Google it. Here it is if anyone wants to see it.

Anyway, I'm going to go now.

I had so much fun writing this post.

Thanks, Matt.


  1. Hi Dina,
    My favorite McCubbin painting is 'Down on his luck'. His painting are very iconic and are how most people visualise Australia at the turn of the 20th century.
    The Artist's Footsteps website is brilliant and so informative will defiantly have to go back and have a look when i have time.
    So glad your loving the post, they are some of my favorite Aussies.

  2. Matt,

    Yeah. I had a great time learning about the artists. Thank you : )

    I want to spend more time on the Artist Footstep website too. They don't have many artists up yet, but hopefully they'll add more in the future.