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Alexander Sinclair1846

by Joseph Backler

Alexander Sinclair was born in Goulburn in 1844 and died at five years of age in 1849. In this portrait Alexander is about two years old. 

Alexander’s parents, James and Christina Sinclair, arrived in Goulburn from Scotland in about 1839. Alexander’s mother died in 1848 and his father disappeared after heading to the goldfields in 1851, believed to have been robbed and murdered near Ovens.

Backler’s portraits of children are rarely successful. Unlike his adults, his children seem saccharine, idealised and are often badly proportioned. The frames on all three of the Sinclair portraits were made by Sydney framemaker Lawrence Cetta.