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Sam Fullbrook

Sam_Fullbrook_Ernestine_Hill_1970.jpg

Sam Fullbrook | Australia 1922–2004 | Ernestine Hill 1970 | Oil on canvas | 96.8 x 76.3cm | Gift of the artist 1972 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Sam Fullbrook Ernestine Hill 1970 

Sam Fullbrook                                     
Australia  1922–2004
Ernestine Hill 1970
Oil on canvas
96.8 x 76.3cm
Gift of the artist 1972
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Sam Fullbrook

Ernestine Hill 1970

Shy and self-conscious, Ernestine Hill, author of The Great Australian Loneliness (1937) and the novel My Love Must Wait (1941), had refused earlier requests from William Dobell and others to paint her portrait. Her agreement to sit for Fullbrook (then a fellow resident of Buderim in the Sunshine Coast hinterland) was influenced by their good rapport, as well as the encouragement of her son, Robert.

Fullbrook wrote to his dealer, Rose Skinner, in August 1970:

I had a wonderful morning with Ernestine Hill and we had a long chat about the west. She is working on a book about Daisy Bates. Walking back home it struck me how her generation can enthuse. It is something lacking in succeeding generations. Anyway I am going to invite her around for afternoon tea. She would be a marvellous subject if she would agree.  

Artists like Drysdale and Dargie thought that this portrait should have won the 1970 Archibald Prize. Fullbrook presented the portrait to the Queensland Art Gallery shortly after Hill’s death, and it is still one of the most popular paintings in the Gallery’s Collection.