born New Zealand 1967; arrived Australia 1981; lives and works in Melbourne
Blue Claude (after McCubbin) 2020
porcelain with transfer print, gold and brass staples; edition 1/25
Geelong Gallery, Dorothy McAllister Bequest Fund, 2020
© Courtesy of the artist
Robert Hague appropriates McCubbin’s Down on his luck 1889 in Blue Claude (after McCubbin). In this work, Hague transposes McCubbin’s despondent prospector into a hybrid composition by French painter and printmaker Claude Lorrain (born Claude Gellée c.1600–1682). Claude spent most of his life in Italy and is one of the Baroque period’s most studied landscape painters.
Of his composite image Hague has stated:
McCubbin’s failed gold prospector sits mournfully in a Wedgwood paradise … its broken porcelain traced with veins of gold. Lorrain here depicts an idealised urban landscape, a pre-Romantic image of utopia and one senses that McCubbin’s miner has realised that his dream of creating Australia in this image is not only futile but was perhaps the wrong dream all along.