Down on His Luck is an 1889 painting by the Australian artist Frederick McCubbin. It depicts a seemingly disheartened swagman, sitting by a campfire sadly brooding over his misfortune. According to an 1889 review, "The face tells of hardships, keen and blighting in their influence, but there is a nonchalant and slightly cynical expression, which proclaims the absence of all self-pity ... McCubbin's picture is thoroughly Australian in spirit." The surrounding bush is painted in subdued tones, reflecting his somber and contemplative mood.
The artist's model was Louis Abrahams, a friend and successful tobaccanist in Melbourne who earlier supplied the cigar box lids for the famous 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition. The scene was staged near the Box Hill artists' camp outside Melbourne, but it is thought that McCubbin would have made additional studies of Abrahams under studio conditions.