At Last

Dora Meeson

At Last by Dora Meeson

Details

Artist
Dora Meeson
Title
At Last
Year
1896
Medium
oil on canvas
Size
96.5 x 122.5 cm
Stock Number
219001

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Provenance

the artist
unknown
Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne
private collection, Melbourne

Exhibited

National Gallery School Travelling Scholarship Prize, Melbourne, 1896

A Selection of Australian and European Paintings 1820 – 1920, Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne, 11 – 29 May 1981, cat. no. 21

Literature

Dora Meeson Coates, George Coates: His Art and life, London 1937, p.8

Further Information

The National Gallery of Victoria Travelling Scholarship Prize established 1887, awarded every three years, enabled the recipient to travel to Europe to study masterworks and with an acquisition component, see their work enter the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

In 1896, the title of At Last was given for students to interpret in their own way, having the year to paint their entry. The finalists were as follows:

George Coates: with a depiction of a figure with a broken leg waiting for the country doctor
Hugh Ramsay: showing visiting charity workers to a family (now in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia)
George Pontin: illustrating a sailor’s long-awaited return
Portia Geach: showing a labourer’s return to the meal awaiting him
Dora Meeson: depicting a lucky miner rushing home to tell of his good fortune

It is interesting that Dora Meeson was the only one of the group to interpret the subject with a positive slant. The value placed on the finalists’ paintings has grown exponentially with the passing of time and the accompanying interest in preserving and interpreting Australian cultural history; as well as the increasing rarity of such works, if not already in public collections. Hugh Ramsay’s entry (At Last, 1896) entered the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia through the Ramsay family in 1991.