William Charles Piguenit (1836 – 1914)
The Glenorchy Hills from the North Flank of Mount Direction
Oil on canvas
48.5 x 74.5 cm (sight)
Signed lower right

The first Australian born landscape artist of note, William Charles Piguenit (1836 – 1914) is known for his romantic depictions of Tasmania and New South Wales in colonial times. Piguenit was born in Hobart in 1836, the son of a convict of French Huguenot descent who was transported to England in 1830. Piguenit made a number of visits to Tasmania following his departure to New South Wales in 1880.

This painting, depicting the River Derwent from the slopes of Mount Direction, Otago, shows what is believed to be the farming property of fellow Hugenot descendants the Mollineaux family, who operated a ferry service across the Derwent until well into the century.

James R. Lawson & Little, Sydney, December 1912
Thence by descent
Masterpiece Fine Art Gallery, Hobart

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Haughton Forrest (1826 – 1925)
‘Highland Cattle’
Oil on canvas
51 x 76 cm

Literature: George Deas Brown, Haughton Robert 1826 – 1925 (Malakoff Fine Art Press, 1982), reproduced page 166

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Nora Heysen (1911 – 2003)
‘Pink and White Posie’ c. 1953
Oil on canvas, laid on board
30.7 x 25.2 cm
Signed lower right: ‘Nora Heysen’

Exhibited: John Martin’s Galleries, Christmas Exhibition 1953 (Label attached verso)

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William Duke (1815 – 1853)
(The Barque Derwent of the Coast of Dover) c. 1849
Oil on canvas
62 x 92.5 cm

The Simon Brown Collection, Ellenthorpe Hall, Ross, Tasmania
Private Collection, Launceston

Although William Charles Duke (1814 – 1853) spent only seven years in the colony of Van Diemen’s Land, his impact on the maritime art of the island was enormous. Duke arrived in Hobart in May 1845, having travelled from New Zealand aboard the Sir John Franklin.  As a painter of some talent, he quickly took up portraiture commissions and found employment creating theatre sets. As the decade progressed and the whaling industry entered its peak, he found local fame after publishing four lithographs depicting the whaling activity in the area.

Duke’s style was deeply indebted to the work of English maritime artist William John Huggins (1781 – 1845). One of the four prints, titled The Flurry, was a direct copy of a whaling scene by Huggins. Despite this, the series drew the attention of local ship owners. In 1849, when the Hobart whaling fleet reached its peak of 34 Hobart owned and operated vessels, Duke produced his best-known whaling scene, Offshore Whaling with the Aladdin and Jane, now housed in the collection of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

That same year, on the 22nd of August, 1849, the Hobart Courier reported the launch of the Derwent, a 140 foot barque built by Messrs. H. Degraves, Brown & Co.. The article goes on to report ‘Her figure-head was carved by Mr. Duke, and represents a female in a beckoning attitude, and is 6 feet 3 inches in height’. 1 The ship was intended for regular trade between Hobart and London, and in September that year Henry Degraves and Brown & Co. placed an advertised freight services to London in the Colonial Times.

In depicting the The Derwent, Duke has taken a direct cue from the work of Huggins by placing the ship off the White Cliffs of Dover and having ship repeated, sailing into the distance, on the right-hand side of the work. The painting was discovered following the dispersal of the Simon Brown collection, Ellenthorpe Hall, in 2006. 3

1. The Courier (22 August 1849, Hobart), ‘The “Derwent”‘, p. 2
2. Colonial Times (28 September 1849, Hobart), ‘Advertising’, p. 3
3. Stevenson, M, The Examiner (1 July 2006), ‘Rare 1825 Sideboard is sold for $94,000’

After George William Evans (1780 – 1852)
‘Hobart Town’ c. 1825
Staffordshire earthenware plate with blue and white transfer pattern
23 cm diameter

George William Evans (1780 – 1852) is today best remembered for his role in surveying and exploring the then newly established colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. For his efforts in discovering a passage through the Great Dividing Range into the interior of the former colony, he was awarded 1,000 acres in the Coal River Valley, Van Diemen’s Land. In 1825, Evans was appointed Surveyor General of Tasmania, however did not assume office. Outside his surveying work, Evans was also known as an artist of some repute, and in 1822 published A Geographical, Historical and Topographical Description of Van Diemen’s Land.1

This transfer printed Staffordshire plate, produced circa 1825, is based on an image of Hobart town by Evans which served as a frontispiece in his publication. Remaining examples of similar works depicting North American coastal cities identify the piece as one of a set depicting world ports. The piece is considered the earliest depiction of Australia on ceramic.

1. Weatherburn, A K, ‘Evans, George William (1780 – 1852)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University

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Emanuel Phillips Fox (1865 – 1915)
‘Carding the Wool’ c. 1892
Oil on canvas
136 x 88 cm
Signed lower right: ‘E. Phillips Fox’

Ruth Zubans, E. Phillips Fox: His Life and Art (Miegunyah Press, Carlton, Victoria 1995), referenced page 39.

In 1887 Emanuel Phillips Fox left Australia for Europe, where he spent a number of years painting in artists communities in Cornwall, Brittany and Etaples. In 1890 the young artist visited Spain, where, in the Museo de Prado, Madrid, he studied the work of Diego Velázquez (1599–1660), which inspired a number of dark tonal works after the master, including a copy of Velázquez’s Los Borrachos, painted in 1891, which was acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria two years later. ‘Carding the Wool’ takes its inspiration from Velázquez’s Las Hilanderas.

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Janet Agnes Cumbrae-Stewart (1883 – 1960)
(The Farmyard, Hobart, Tasmania) 1916
Oil on canvas
24 x 39 cm (sight)
Signed & dated lower right

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Attributed Robert Hawker Dowling (1827 – 1886)
Portrait of Olof Hilmer Hedberg (1817 – 1884) c. 1850s
Oil on canvas
104 x 78.5 cm

Olof Hilmer Hedberg (1817 – 1884) arrived in Hobart in 1844, establishing himself as a whaling identity during the peak of the industry and founding a dynasty that remains to this day. Generations of Hedbergs have left their mark on the state of Tasmania in fields as broad as brewing, fisheries and spatial science. The family legacy in now being honoured with the naming of the performing arts centre ‘The Hedberg’, currently being built on the site of Hedberg Bros. Garage, Collins Street, Hobart.

This large portrait was sourced from the collection of a descendant of colonial frame maker and fine art dealer Robin Vaughan Hood (1802 – 1888), who was a known associate of the Hedberg family. It is believed that the painting was painted by colonial portraitist Robert Hawker Dowling (1827 – 1886), who opened his Hobart studios in 1852, where he worked until his departure for England in 1857.

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Percy Charles Lindsay (1870 – 1952)
Miners Cottage, Creswick
Oil on canvas
49.7 x 30.3 cm
Signed lower right

Percy Lindsay, elder brother of artists Norman, Lionel and Daryl, returned to his birthplace of Creswick to attend outdoor landscape classes with teacher Walter Withers in the summer of 1893. Already an accomplished painter, particularly of landscapes, he is often regarded as the finest painter of all the Lindsays.

His Creswick paintings between 1890 – 1900, of mining subjects, are his most highly acclaimed and engaging works. Miner’s Cottage, Creswick (1897) also shows his interest and skill in capturing atmospheric effects. Many of his Creswick and mining paintings are held in public galleries.

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Haughton Forrest (1826 – 1925)
(Hobart Town from Bellerive)
Oil on academy board
46.5 x 62 cm
Signed lower left

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