Frederick McCubbin painting unveiled for first time in 140 years25 October 2021
The Age /Sydney Morning Herald | Kerrie O'Brien
A rarely seen painting by one of Australia’s pioneering impressionist artists, Frederick McCubbin, will go under the hammer for the first time in 140 years.
The 1884 painting The Letter is one of McCubbin’s earliest contributions to the late 19th-century art movement known as Australian Impressionism and has been long held by his family, known to exist by only a handful of scholars.
The work features McCubbin’s sister Harriet, an artist who modelled for him as well as his contemporary Tom Roberts, reading a letter, apparently deep in thought.
Measuring 45.5cm x 22.6cm, the piece will be auctioned by Smith & Singer in November with an estimated price range of $300,000-$400,000. But the auction house says there’s a chance it will sell for well above that, given the rarity of McCubbin’s work of this era and the degree of interest it is expected to generate.