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Gold diggings, Ararat c 1858

By Edward Roper

Edward Roper has depicted the gold rush at Ararat, south-west Victoria, at its peak in the late 1850s. There is evidence of diggers everywhere. Their nationalities are indicated by several flags and the details of everyday life are signposted throughout the work.

A slab of meat hangs high up on a branch. Grog bottles and clothing, canvas tents and boiling billies add to the atmosphere. The general store, bowling alley, butcher, baker and numerous hotels line Main St. Further down, a large tent is designated as the Theatre Royal.

A trooper on horseback inspects the diggings, possibly checking for miners’ licences. And, at the centre of the scene, an Aboriginal family observes all this frenetic activity.

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Collection Item Type:
Oil on canvas
Call Number:
DG 15
Published date:
c 1858
On display:
Exhibition Galleries
Sponsorship:

Sponsored by Simon Thomas

Copyright Information:

Out of copyright: Creator died before 1955

Please acknowledge: Dixson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales

Display Location:
Exhibition Galleries
Historical Dates
Started Monday, 1 January 1855
Finished Friday, 31 December 1858
Started Monday, 1 January 1855
Finished Friday, 31 December 1858
Started Monday, 1 January 1855
Finished Friday, 31 December 1858