I love this etching. Entitled Christmas in Australia, it was painted in 1865, and shows a family enjoying their Christmas picnicking in a cool fern gully. It looks like the Dangenongs, don't you think? Or Ferntree Gully, perhaps.
I especially like this bit of people reading. No surprise there, I guess. Heh.
Despite being painted almost 150 years ago, the work depicts a Christmas pretty similar to that enjoyed by many Australians today. Although you are more likely to find my family tucking into traditional English Turkey and plum pud, our local parks are filled on Christmas Day with families barbequeing and picnicking, and making a grand use of our beautiful summer weather.
At a time of year when we are more likely to be gazing on wintery Christmas scenes like Brueghel's Hunters in the Snow, or Turner's Frosty Morning, it is great to look instead at this painting of our own country, and appreciate how blessed we are to be living right here, right now.
Although I'd love to have this etching hanging on my wall, you'll actually find it in The State Library of Victoria. Oh well.