|Cunningham’s Gap was named after the botanist Allan Cunningham who reached it in 1828. From the Gap the lush rainforest of the Great Dividing Range contrasts sharply with the grassland plains of the Darling Downs. Cunningham’s Gap is the primary pathway through the Range to the southern Darling Downs; now semi-trailers struggle up the steep incline instead of riders on horseback.|
Forest, Cunningham's Gap
30.5 x 42cm
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
Purchased 1998 with funds raised through The Conrad Martens Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Appeal and with the assistance of the Queensland Government's special Centenary Fund
The squatters and tourists used Cunningham’s Gap to travel between Brisbane and the Downs; it was only a rough bridle path, unsuitable for stock or vehicles. From 1847 until the 1920s Spicer's Gap Road was the usual route, but the steep track through Cunningham's Gap had better views and remained the favourite with tourists.
40.6 x 26cm
This drawing of the forest at Cunningham's Gap shows the same grey horse which Martens included in his 1856 watercolour. Martens revisited this Queensland scene so many years after his journey north because he found a ready market for his Queensland subjects in the 1870s. It is not known why Queensland was such a popular subject in the 1870s.
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