Abraham (Abbey/Aby) Altson (1866-1949) Australia

Biographical Information

Altson was born at Middlesborough-on-Tees, in Yorkshire in 1864.

Some claim he was born in 1867, as he told people in Melbourne, however, this could have been to exaggerate his youth, as Sir Arthur Streeton used to do on occasions.

He came to Australia with his brother, Barnett Hayman Altson in September 1883.

From 1885 Aby studied drawing two nights a week at the National Gallery

School of Design in Melbourne.

In 1886 he enrolled full-time in the School of Painting under Folingsby, along with other noted artists such as Fred McCubbin, John Longstaff, Emanuel Phillips Fox, David Davies, Tudor St. George Tucker, and Fred Williams.

Altson won prizes each year and was heralded by local critics as a most promising pupil of the future".

His best known student painting is The Golden Age in the National Gallery of Victoria.

He has become best known for his superb portrait and figure paintings and through London dealers he painted many portraits of Indian maharajas, notably of Ranjitsinhji, Maharaja of Nawanaga.

He migrated to the USA where died in 1949.

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Market Information

Children's Children 1889
Highest Price:
Children's Children 1889
Oil on canvas, 82.5 x 127.5 cm
Important Australian Art, Sotheby's, Melbourne.
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 Total number soldNumber with imagesHighest priceRecent average price*
Paintings4227A$341,600 N/A
Works on Paper10A$3,850 N/A

* Calculated on sales over the last three years, where there are a sufficient number of sales over that period.

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