Robert DOWLING | Elizabeth Dowling

Robert DOWLING
England 1827 – England 1886
Australia 1834-1857, 1884-1886

Elizabeth Dowling 1851-52
oil on board
30.5 (h) x 25.5 (w) cm
Purchased 2009
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 2009.605

This is the only known portrait of Dowling’s much-loved mother Elizabeth. She was a deeply religious, charitable person and contributed greatly to her husband’s work as well as bearing eight children. She died on 24 March 1853 at the age of 72, perhaps less than a year after her youngest son painted her portrait. Her husband wrote: ‘The last five years were painful, arising from a severe affection of the nerves, so that she often wished for death, as a friendly messenger to take her to her home above.’