The last of summer , Walter Withers
  • Artist
    Walter Withers
  • Born
    1854
  • Died
    1914
  • Title
    The last of summer
  • Date of Production
    1898
  • Medium
    oil on canvas
  • Dimensions
    77.0 x 92.0 cm
  • Credit Details
    Gift of Mrs I. Main-Rippin, 1932

Walter Withers

The last of summer

Trained at the Royal College of Art London before coming to Australia in 1882 Withers took evening classes at the National Gallery School, Melbourne where he met other artists such as Streeton, Conder and McCubbin with whom he was to later paint at Eaglemont.

Withers, who undertook further studies at the Academy Julian in Paris in 1887-1888, was usually drawn to conditions of light that required a more romantic treatment than the harshness of full sunlight.  Here in The last of summer  with its large white gum set against the dark blue-grey clouds of the gathering storm Withers has captured a lonely figure in a red shawl carrying a bundle of firewood in the eerie stillness that so often precedes a storm.  This image for which the Gallery also has sketchbooks appears to have had a number of titles including The Rising Storm and The Coming Storm.  It  was possibly also known as The Faggot Gatherer referred to in Walter Withers: The Forgotten Manuscripts.