Moyes Bay Beaumaris artwork by Frederick McCubbin

Moyes Bay Beaumaris

Frederick McCubbin, 1887

  • Born Australia 1855
  • Died Australia 1917
  • Oil on canvas 58.6 x 91.6 cm
  • Acquired through the Great Australian Paintings Appeal with Funds presented by the Swan Brewery Co Ltd, 1978
  • Collection: Art Gallery of Western Australia

About the painting

Moyes Bay, Beaumaris 1887 was painted over the summer of 1886–1887 when McCubbin, Tom Roberts, Louis Abrahams and Arthur Streeton were renting a cottage at Beaumaris.

Also known as The Shore, this delightful work was described as "impressionist in its general character" in the Melbourne Argus, however McCubbin did not forego detail in the work.

Note the rockpools, seagrass and careful reflections of the woman and young boy.

When McCubbin was painting in this vicinity, the bay was known to locals as Moysey's Bay, which was so named after James Moysey and his wife Susannah, who were pioneers of the Beaumaris district, settling there in 1845.

The Moysey’s held the first official leasehold to land in this area of Beaumaris, between 1845 and 1851.

About the artist

McCubbin exhibited four works in The Centennial International Exhibition, Melbourne, 1888, and was appointed Master of the School of Design, National Gallery of Victoria – a position he held for the rest of his life.

Late in 1916 McCubbin was given six months leave of absence from his National Gallery position due to ill health.

Apart from his short trip to Europe in 1907, this was the only time that McCubbin had leave from his position as Drawing Master, in a career that had spanned thirty years.

It is important to realise the significant contribution that McCubbin made in developing drawing skills in several thousand students, including such students as David Davies, who was enrolled under McCubbin in 1886, and Max Meldrum, who was enrolled under McCubbin between 1892 and 1895.

The official diagnosis of McCubbin's ill health was that of suffering from severe attacks of asthma.

It is considered that his asthma, and a bout of pneumonia late in 1917, weakened his heart, and he died aged 62, from a heart attack on 20 December 1917.


Page last updated: 15 Dec 2010