Reviewing A Day's Picnic on Clark Island

Stimulus #1: 
A Day’s Picnic at Clark Island, 1870, Eugene Montagu Scott, oil painting

Student activities

Task no. 1

Review and description of A Day’s Picnic on Clark Island

Read through the review of A Day’s Picnic on Clark Island from an 1870 edition of the Illustrated Sydney News. Photographs were not common in Australian newspapers at the time and so a black and white engraving accompanied the review as an illustration of the events.

Discussion Questions

Discuss the style of the review:

  • What do you notice about the vocabulary and voice of the writer?
  • What did you learn about the painting that you had not realised before reading the review?
  • What does the reader learn about the writer of this review?
  • What is the reviewer’s opinion about the painting?


Imagine you are an art critic who has been asked to write a review of A Day’s Picnic on Clark Island.

In your review you should:

  • Briefly describe the painting
  • Offer your opinion of the painting
  • Explain what you see as its appeal or lack of appeal
  • Make a recommendation about a suitable audience for the painting

Your review might be for a newspaper, blog or magazine. Alternatively, it might be the transcript of a review written for radio or television.