1877 25 May: born in Glasgow.


1878 Ramsay family sails to Melbourne.


1891 dux of Essendon Grammar.


1893 beginning of the Depression.


1894 enters NationalGallerySchool. Studies under Frederick McCubbin.


1895 admitted to PaintingSchool under Bernard Hall. At the Annual

Student Exhibition wins 1st prize for painting.


1896 mother dies. Ramsay develops a passion for Keats’s poetry. Wins

1st prize for 2 paintings and a drawing. Ramsay beaten by George

Coates in the Travelling Scholarship competition.


1897 visits his brother in Tasmania, where he paints landscapes. Forgoes

2 terms at the NationalGallerySchool and rents a studio at 312

Flinders St where he gives lessons. Paints Jessie with doll.

At the Annual Student Exhibition wins 1st prize for 2 paintings.


1898 Annual Student Exhibition wins 1st prize for a painting and a



1899 Lischen Muller attends classes at Ramsay’s studio and becomes the

model  for the Keats-inspired painting Consolation, with George

Bell as the other subject.

Annual Student Exhibition wins 1st prize for a painting.

Runner-up to Max Meldrum in the Travelling Scholarship

Competition. Leaves the GallerySchool.


1900  Art Union raffle of Ramsay’s paintings held to raise money to send

him abroad. He becomes unofficially engaged to Lischen Muller.

Sails to England, meeting George and Amy Lambert, who become

Close friends. Visits Scotland.


1901  returns to London, then to Paris, where he shares a studio with

James MacDonald. Enrols at the Academie Colarossi and is joined

there by Lambert. Submits 2 paintings to the Old Salon, where his

painting of MacDonald is accepted. Studies the Old Masters in the

Louvre and also Whistler’s works. Paints from dawn till late at

Night, experimenting with self-portraiture.


1902  has 4 works accepted and hung at the New Salon. Patterson

introduces him to Melba, who commissions Ramsay to paint

her portrait. Ramsay goes to London, is entertained by Melba and

starts her portrait. Visits the RoyalAcademy and New Gallery,

where he is impressed by John Sargent. Tuberculosis is diagnosed

and Ramsay is advised to return to Melbourne. The Melba portrait

is unfinished. In August he arrives in Melbourne and rests at

‘Clydebank’. Ramsay paints portraits of Jessie, Madge and

Lischen. Melba, recently arrived in Melbourne, holds a 3-day

Exhibition of Ramsay’s works at ‘Myoora’, her house in Toorak.

This was the only solo show of Ramsay’s work in his lifetime.


1903    six of Ramsay’s works hung at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Melba commissions him to paint her father and Nellie Patterson.

His health declines and he is sent to rest in rural Victoria.


1904    exhibits 5 works at the Victorian Artists’ Society Annual

Exhibition, including Lady with a fan and The sisters. He breaks

his engagement to Lischen Muller and returns to the countryside.

1905     from January to August is confined to bed.


1906     5th March dies at ‘Clydebank’.