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“Under the Jacaranda” by R Godfrey Rivers

Queensland Art Gallery - Joy of Museums -

“Under the Jacaranda” by R Godfrey Rivers

“Under the Jacaranda” by R Godfrey Rivers shows the artist and his wife, Selina, taking tea under the shade of a jacaranda tree in full bloom. It is a quintessential image of early Australia. The location depicted was in Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens and shows the first jacaranda to be grown in Australia, planted in 1864 and flourishing there until it was blown down in 1979.

The majestic jacaranda tree in bloom was captured using the contrast of the green vegetation and the red umbrella to emphasise its distinctive purple of the jacaranda. With jacarandas now growing in most Australian suburbs, many of them are the progeny of this first tree.

Rivers completed this painting 13 years after he arrived in Australia from England. He emigrated to Australia in 1889 and taught at several schools and colleges. He was president of the Queensland Art Society and was also honorary curator of the Queensland National Art Gallery from 1895 to 1914.

Among the many masterpieces and historical objects in the Queensland Art Gallery, the following are some highlights:


  • Does this painting capture the jacaranda tree in full bloom?
  • Why was the first jacaranda tree planted in Australia?

Under the Jacaranda

  • Title:               Under the Jacaranda
  • Artist:             Richard Godfrey Rivers
  • Dates:             1903
  • Materials:      Oil on Canvas
  • Museum:       Queensland Art Gallery

R Godfrey Rivers

  • Name:           Richard Godfrey Rivers
  • Birth:             1858 – Plymouth, England
  • Death:           1925 – London, England
  • Nationality:   English


“Art is an illusion of spontaneity.”
Japanese Proverb


Photo Credit: JOM