Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross - A Possible Fake?

Questions have been raised about the authenticity of a valuable and historically important painting, Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross. And the debate about the painting is tangled up in a controversy about the so-called Eureka Flag, which is believed to be the precursor to Australia's current national flag.

Story in Brief: The Eureka Flag rose to prominence in the mid-20th Century, at which time it became a symbol of Australian nationalism. But questions lingered about its authenticity as a precursor to the current flag. Then, in 1996, the 'Swearing Allegiance' painting was discovered in someone's attic. It was said to have been painted by a Quebec artist-adventurer, Charles Doudiet, in the mid-nineteenth century, and it showed a scene from the Eureka Rebellion of 1854, in which Doudiet was said to have participated. More importantly, it showed the Eureka Flag. Thus, if the painting was real, the flag's history was also genuine.

But recently an anonymous source contacted The Sunday Age alleging the painting was a fake. A tip from an anonymous source doesn't seem like much to go on. But apparently there's almost no information about this Charles Doudiet, even though he supposedly was a pivotal figure in the Eureka rebellion. Also, the painting was never forensics tested. The Ballarat Gallery, which owns the painting, has promised it's going to look into the matter. Links: The Sunday Age, Vancouver Sun.


Posted on Thu Jan 12, 2012


As a fantasy artist I've painted and drawn MANY images and scenes from my own imagination. They are very real (the ones that still exist). I'm real too. That does not mean that what I paint really happened, only that I made the images tangible. So it would be inappropriate to say the painting above is 'fake' since clearly we're looking at it. Nor does it matter even who the artist is. Many historical paintings were of ideas even while some were depictions of actual events. They are ALL still real.
Posted by hulitoons  in  Abingdon, Maryland  on  Fri Jan 13, 2012  at  03:50 AM
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