Ernest Buckmaster (1897-1968)
Still Life 1944
oil on canvas
43.1 x 60.5 cm
Gift of Howard Hinton 1945


Ernest Buckmaster was a traditional painter throughout his life, regularly exhibiting his landscapes, still life and portraits. Despite his vocal disapproval of modernism, he was well-respected for his strong opinions about art.

Passionate about drawing and painting from early in his life in country Victoria, Buckmaster studied at the National Gallery School in Melbourne between 1918 and 1924.

This still life, painted in 1944 during World War II, was produced in the same year as Buckmasters’s solo exhibition in Sydney, which resulted in a large-scale painting commission in New Zealand. A year later he was appointed as an official war artist and commissioned to document the surrender of Japan in Singapore.

Buckmaster exhibited over 72 works in the Archibald Prize between 1924 and 1966, winning it in 1932 for his portrait of Sir William Irvine, Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria.