The Charcoal Burners

Fred Williams

The Charcoal Burners by Fred Williams


Fred Williams
The Charcoal Burners
oil on composition board
61 x 71 cm

signed lower left: Fred Williams

Note: Lyn Williams advises that in notes Fred Williams made about the works sent to Rudy Komon between 1963 – 1965, he recorded that this is “the original sketch made on the trip with A Boyd down Goulbourn River”.

Related Work:

The Charcoal Burner 1959 oil on composition board 86.3 x 91.4 cm signed lower right: Fred Williams, in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, purchased 1960

Enquire about this artwork


Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney
Jim McDonald, Melbourne, acquired from the above in June 1964
Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne
The Estate of the late James O. Fairfax AC, New South Wales and Bridgestar Pty Ltd, Sydney, acquired from the above in 1988
Private collection, Melbourne


Recent Landscape and Still Life Paintings – Fred Williams, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 12 – 21 May 1959, cat. 6 (as ‘Landscape’)
Australian Art: 1790s – 1970s, Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne, 24 November – 9 December 1988, cat. 74 (illus. in exhibition catalogue)

Further Information

“This work is part of a small group of forest paintings of the late 1950s that came out of Williams’ travels with Boyd into the Barmah State Park and Forest on the Murray River near Echuca, an area known for the impressive Red Gum forest and sometimes thought of as a wetland due to regular flooding.”

Deborah Hart, Fred Williams: Infinite Horizons, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2011, p. 49


“The Charcoal Burners (1959) is a finished studio work developed from an on-the-spot sketch of the smoke filtering through the forest from the fires of a charcoal burner camped on the bank of the Murray River. Williams was on a motoring trip with Arthur Boyd (who also exhibited at the Australian Galleries) in the summer, early 1959. they were touring Northern Victoria following the Goulburn River north, and camped at Echuca at the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers. Arriving towards dusk, Williams made a quick sketch which he completed the next day, and which formed the basis of the final studio work.”

Robert Lindsay and Irena Zdanowicz, Fred Williams: Works in the National Gallery of Victoria Paintings – Gouaches – Prints, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1980, p.22