19th century painting calls Grafton gallery home
A MAN on horseback, a woman and a dog stand outside a bark and slab hut overlooking fenced paddocks and grazing cattle.
The iconic depiction of early European settlement on the Clarence River, immortalised in oils, now calls the walls of the Grafton Regional Gallery home.
Gallery director Jude McBean said the 1894 painting The Settlers Hut, by impressionist Albert Henry Fullwood, was an exciting new addition to the gallery's collection.
The landscape on a cedar panel was acquired at auction in April, bought with the support of the Gallery Foundation.
Ms McBean said it was produced when Fullwood was a guest of the Newbold family at Newbold Station in the upper Clarence Valley as he travelled through the region to paint and draw, and formed an important piece of local history.
Born in England in 1881, the artist was employed by the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia and had a leading role in forming the Society of Artists in Sydney.
He joined the Allied Art Corps during the First World War and was later a sergeant in the Medical Corps.
In 1918 he went to France as official artist to the 5th Division, Australian Imperial Force, painting scenes of the Western Front for the Australian War Memorial.
"This wonderful addition to our regional gallery is the second 19th century painting in our collection," Ms McBean said.