Two horses and cart move away from the viewer on a diagonal, left flanks visible against a background of poplar trees. A darker tree casts a shadow lower left of the scene. Man with cap seated on blue cart holds the reins.

Object type
Medium and materials
oil on board
Place Made
New Zealand

LL dark brown brush point Flora Scales 1917


Sold by auction in Christchurch, 1976 (titled Homewards)

Sold by auction at Dunbar Sloane, New Zealand, 3 Day Art and Pottery, 29.04.1998, Lot 35 (titled Horse and Cart)

Sold by auction at International Art Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, Fine Paintings, 21.03.2006, Lot 28 (titled Homeward Bound)

General notes

Mandy Fenwick, equestrian, in conversation with B. de Lange, 09.03.2020, “This is a painting of a two horse drawn blue cart with seated man holding the reins. The Clydesdale horses are wearing harnesses and blind bridles and a collar designed to distribute the drag of the drawn load or cart. This is the usual working gear of heavy working farm animals.”

In an undated letter [1980s] to B. de Lange, the 1976 purchaser writes: "The reason I purchased it really was that I thought it was a pretty good work. The trees on the left had an Edward Fristrom look about them. I think the general handling of the paint was good with a sureness of a competent artist. That is why I called on Flora Scales to see if she had any more of that period but no luck. She said if she was painting today she would not have put the poplar trees in.”

A photograph taken from the window of Pumpkin Cottage, Upper Hutt, New Zealand, shows a row of poplars very similar to those depicted in Scales’s painting (see Related Images). Pumpkin Cottage was rented in 1895 by James Nairn and used as a base for the group known as the ‘Pumpkin Cottage Impressionists’ who painted en plein air, quickly and directly, with much emphasis on the use of saturated colour. After Nairn's death in 1904, Pumpkin Cottage remained a regular meeting place for members of the Wellington Art Club. (See Related Images)

Flora Scales is known to have attended painting sessions at this location and is recorded as having planted an old rose beside the painted pumpkin sign sometime after 1914, perhaps in memory of her two brothers who died in the First World War. (See Related Images)


‘Art Society’s Exhibition’, Press, 13 March 1918

“Miss Flora Scales has 3 pictures painted in the bold decided style which has been favourably commented upon on more than one occasion. She has turned to rural life for her inspiration and all 3 pictures are on similar lines, horse teams drawing heavy farm drays. The theme is simple but well treated, and all 3 works [The Day’s Work [1] [BC129], The Day’s Work [2] [BC140], Untitled [Homewards] [BC004]], but No 28 [BC004] particularly, are distinctly good.”


Photo courtesy International Art Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, 2006

Related images