Image 'Death of Ben Hall', painted in 1894

TLF ID R3322

This is an oil painting, measuring 137.6 cm x 182.7 cm, by Patrick William Marony, depicting the death of the bushranger Ben Hall (1837-65) near Forbes, New South Wales. Hall sprawls in the foreground, his revolver on the ground in front of him and his rifle leaning against a tree. Behind him, across a broad clearing in a forest, seven policemen are firing at him. Flour is spilt on the ground beside a saddle in the bottom left-hand corner, and Hall clutches a bridle and reins.




Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset shows the death of bushranger Ben Hall, who is reputed to have begun his life as an honest, hardworking stockman, but eventually turned to bushranging - he spent three years holding up mail coaches, robbing banks and stealing livestock from the areas surrounding the Weddin Mountains in New South Wales, until he became the first Australian bushranger to be outlawed, allowing him to be shot on sight.
  • It depicts the violence of Hall's death through an ambush by seven policemen and two Aboriginal trackers, after he had been betrayed by a friend tempted by the reward of £1,000, a huge sum for the time - bushranging was a dangerous and violent activity, with most bushrangers dying young; Hall was 27.
  • It depicts Hall's camp at Goobang Creek on 5 May 1865 - Hall was shot as he crossed a clearing to collect his horse in the morning and is depicted in the painting holding his bridle and reins, with his saddle in the foreground; Hall was camped alone; he and his gang had split up, with Hall planning to give up bushranging and go to America.
  • It shows examples of the style of weapons in use in the second half of the 19th century - a revolver, designed by Samuel Colt, that allowed a person to fire multiple shots without reloading, and a breech-loading rifle that was quick to load and powerful and accurate to fire can be seen.
  • It shows the attire worn by men in the bush - both the policemen and Hall wear tight-fitting trousers (probably moleskin) and long boots, suitable for leg protection when riding through bush.
  • It is an example of the work of Patrick William Marony (1858-1939) - well known for his romanticised paintings of bushrangers (including Ned Kelly and Frank Gardiner), all painted around 1894; Marony was also a photographer, scriptwriter and movie director, responsible for the 1911 film 'Ben Hall, notorious bush ranger'.
Year level

9

Topics Bushrangers
Learning area
  • History

Other details

Contributors
  • Contributor
  • Name: National Library of Australia
  • Organization: National Library of Australia
  • Description: Content provider
  • URL: http://www.nla.gov.au
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Person: Patrick William Marony
  • Description: Author
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: National Library of Australia
  • Organization: National Library of Australia
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Device independence
  • Hearing independence
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
Rights
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and National Library of Australia, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements