born Australia, 1855
Oil on canvas on plywood
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mr Hugh McCubbin, 1960
Annie McCubbin was the subject of a number of studio portraits by McCubbin and was the model for his national narrative paintings set within the Australian bush (such as On the wallaby track, A bush burial, and The pioneer).
McCubbin met 19-year-old Annie Lucy Moriarty in 1884 at an artists’ picnic in Blackburn. They married on 5 March 1889—Tom Roberts was the best man—and had seven children between 1890 and 1906: Louis, Mary, Alexander, Hugh, Sydney, Sheila and Kathleen.
Their 27-year marriage was a very happy one, recorded tenderly in the likenesses McCubbin painted, and in the letters he wrote during their longest separation while he travelled abroad for several months in 1907. McCubbin wrote enthusiastically of the many great works of art viewed in galleries, but also of missing Annie: ‘all the time it’s you and only you I want so much to see’. [25 July 1907]