Portrait listed in this catalogue
* Saupé Marcus Clarke {1893} Loc? [SC]

Assisted by his cousin Andrew Clarke, Marcus Clarke migrated to Australia in 1863 after the collapse of his family’s financial fortunes. From 1867, he gained recognition for his column as “The Peripatetic Philosopher” for the Melbourne Argus. His major novel For the Term of his Natural Life (1874) was published serially from 1870.

His 1874 essay on Australian landscape paintings in the NGV collection, written while he was on the staff of the Public Library of Victoria, contains a series of idiosyncratic but influential and oft-quoted observations on the so-called “melancholy” of the Australian bush: see in particular Buvelot Waterpool near Coleraine 1869 {1870} NGV [PA] and Chevalier Buffalo Ranges {1864} NGV [PA]. These remarks were later reworked by Clarke in a preface to Adam Lindsay Gordon’s poetry.

Unfortunately the bust of Clarke by Saupé, donated in 1893, no longer appears to be extant.


See ADB biography by Brian Elliott (1969): http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/clarke-marcus-andrew-3225. Clarke’s 1874 essay is reprinted in Bernard Smith (ed.), Documents on Art and Taste, Oxford UP, 1975. See also Bonyhady Images in Opposition (1985), ch.7, pp.122ff.