Our tent at Swanage, Dorsetshire

Born Middlesex, England 1862, arrived Australia 1881, died London, England 1906


At nineteen years of age Tudor St. George Tucker arrived in Melbourne ready to pursue his art career. He began with lessons at the National Gallery School, Melbourne (1883–87), where he won prizes for drawing, and exhibited with the Victorian Academy of Arts. From 1887 he spent five years at the Académie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris.

Tucker, who was well versed in French art and impressionist colour theories, opened the Melbourne School of Modern Art in 1893 with his colleague Emanuel Phillips Fox.

Our tent at Swanage, Dorsetshire (c.1903) was painted four years after Tucker returned to England. It shows the Dorset coast of southern England, a place Tucker visited to bolster his poor health. This painting was exhibited in 1903, and most likely included in his final exhibition, Sea and sunlight (1906). After his death from tuberculosis the painting was sent to his Australian physician.

In Australia he exhibited with the Art Society of New South Wales and the Victorian Artists Society, and in Europe, with the Royal Academy, London and the Paris Salon. In 2004 his work was included in The Edwardians: secrets and desires, a major survey exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.