17070
Haughton Forrest (1826 – 1925)
(Hobart Town from Bellerive)
Oil on academy board
46.5 x 62 cm
Signed lower left

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15021
Haughton Forrest (1826 – 1925)
(Mt Wellington with Hobart Rivulet at Old Farm)
Oil on academy board
30 x 44 cm
Signed lower left

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17061
Haughton Forrest (1826 – 1925)
(Tasman’s Discovery Ships; the Heemskirk & the Zeehan)
Oil on canvas
51.5 x 80 cm
Signed lower left

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As the 19th century came to a close, Hobart society took on a renewed interest in the early European history of the Tasmanian colony. This interest saw the eminent painter Haughton Forrest’s first forays into historical painting. After exhibiting at the ‘Old Hobart’ exhibition of 1896 with paintings depicting Old Government House, Hobart and Sarah Island, Macquarie Harbour, Forrest turned his hand to the earliest chapter of the island’s European history; the sighting of the west coast of Tasmania by the Dutch explorer Abel Janzoon Tasman (1603 – 1659) in 1642.1

1. Brown, G D (1982), Haughton Forrest 1826 – 1925, Malakoff Fine Art Press, Melbourne

17083
Haughton Forrest (1826 – 1925)
(Night Shipping Scene)
Oil on academy board
28 x 45.5 cm (sight)
Signed lower left

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Haughton Forrest (1826 – 1925)

16121
Haughton Forrest (1826 – 1925)
(The Old Mill at New Town Creek)
Oil on board
31 x 47 cm
Signed lower left: ‘H Forrest’

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By the end of the 19th century, the mills and farmhouses of the New Town area were a favourite subject among local and visiting artists. Built in the early days of the colony, many of these buildings exhibited a rustic charm which no doubt appealed to the English sensibilities of the colonists.

The mill depicted in this work by Forrest was, during Forrest’s time, known simply as ‘The Old Mill’, however is believed to be the building used by the short-lived Constantia Distillery, which opened in 1824, advertising ‘a good, wholesome and pure spirit’ in The Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser that year.1 In January 1825, Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane raised the excise on locally produced spirits and the distillery subsequently closed.

The building was then used to house orphans prior to the completion of the orphanage at St. John’s New Town, while the proprietor, William de Gillern (1787 – 1857) relocated, eventually to Longford, where he acted as a justice of the peace before returning to Hobart in 1857.

1. Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (24 September 1824, Hobart), p. 2