Albert Tucker is one of the major figures in a group of exceptional painters which includes Sidney Nolan and Arthur Boyd, who, during the 1940s in Melbourne caused an artistic revolution which influenced the course of Australian painting for the rest of the century. Tough, determined, original and uncompromising, Tucker sacrificed everything that hindered his art and accepted every challenge that forwarded it. Greatly respected and collected by perceptive curators and connoisseurs, Tucker's work has not until now had a comprehensive monograph devoted to his work which reveals the full scope and extent of his unique painterly vision. Gavin Fry's penetrating and fluent study fuses the adventures of the artist's life with the record of his artistic development in a single, fascinating story. The author follows Tucker's course from a childhood overshadowed by poverty and family tragedy during the Great Depression through his strenuous self-education in the Victorian State Library and the untutored life-drawing sessions with the Victorian Artists' Society. Fry follows the story of Tucker's steady acceptance by the public and leading galleries and collectors of his own country, and his increasing engagement with landscape and nature, people and portraits, and social concerns that paradoxically echo his early radical interests and the struggle for artistic freedom. With him we become aware of what it meant, in a period of change and revolution in Australian culture, to become an artist, and of the will and dedication required to that end.