Beavis, Richard (1824-96; English)
The Charcoal Burners (1874)
Oil on canvas, 87.0 x 124.8 cm
Bequest of Alfred Felton, 1904
National Gallery of Victoria (135-2)

One of the more highly valued paintings selected from Felton’s collection for the NGV by Bernard Hallthis canvas is prominent in the photographs of Felton’s rooms taken at the Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda prior to his death.

Charcoal production was apparently one of Felton’s many business enterprises, possibly explaining his interest in this work. Another somewhat different variant by Beavis is in the Sheffield Museum.


AR 1904, p.26; NGV 1905, p.94 (III.McArthur Gallery, no.46) 

For this work, see also Poynter, Mr Felton’s Bequests (2003/2008), pp.181 (reproducing a photo of Felton’s St Kilda rooms, including this painting) and 245-6, noting that this work was valued for probate purposes at £210 (compare for instance Webb Gloucester {1904} NGV [PA], valued at only £35). Felton’s interest in charcoal is mentioned in a label relating to this work in the NGV’s 19th-century gallery (noted in 2014)

For Beavis, see AKL8 (1994), p.92; Bénézit 1, p.1436; (for the work in Sheffield); and