Black & white print of a key to Charles Nuttall's painting of the Opening of the first Federal Parliament of Australian in the Exhibition Building, Carlton, in 1901.

Numerous prints were produced of the painting, both in Paris by Goupil et Cie and in London, as well as a key to enable viewers to better identify the 344 recognisable figures in the painting. Writing in February 1902, after Nuttall had already been at work on the painting for several months, the Adelaide Register described the work, noting:

'The painting is 12ft by 5 ft., and it is expected that it will be finished in about four months' time. The Federal Government will purchase the picture which it is completed. Before it reaches its destination, however, it is to be sent to France for reproductive purposes. The celebrated firm of Goupil will reproduce it by means of the photogravure process. These plates will be 40in. by 20in. A key drawing will be issued with the photogravure, which will be a valuable record of a memorable historic event.'

For many years, this key hung next to the original Charles Nuttall painting in the Boardroom of the Royal Exhibition Building. It was framed by The Frame Shop, Fairfield, Victoria.

Physical Description

Black and white etched outline of the painting by Charles Nuttall of the opening of the first Federal Parliament, May 1901, together with a numbered key identifying 343 people who attended the event within the Exhibition Building. The key has been printed onto cardboard and has been framed with archival paper and non-reflective glass.

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