Original watercolour painting depicting a group of 4 Australian Aborigines,

By: PROUT, John Skinner

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Original watercolour painting depicting a group of 4 Australian Aborigines, by PROUT, John Skinner
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1805-1876. being two women one of whom with a child and smoking a pipe, and two men of which one bearing a breast name plate and holding a boomerang whilst the other is seated wearing the red braided tunic of the New South Wales Corps and holding a long spear. A camp fire and lake in the background. Set in a bush scene with eucalypt trees and ferns. Fully signed with initials 'J.S.P.' and dated '1842' in lower left corner. On paper mounted on board and measuring 29.2 x 19.3cm. In fine condition with sharp colouring. THIS PAINTING IS POSSIBLY THE EARLIEST RECORD OF PROUT PAINTING AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES. NOTE: John Skinner Prout (1805-1876), nephew of the distinguished English topographical artist Samuel Prout, arrived in Sydney with his wife and seven children in 1840. Once in the colony he sought to earn a living as a professional artist, but because of the prevailing economic depression, he as well as his fellow contemporaries, was forced to embark on the production of lithographic prints as a means of expanding his market. In 1844 he issued a series of 14 lithographs entitled 'Sydney Illustrated', a copy of which recently sold at auction for over $63,000. He also undertook sketching tours beyond Sydney Town, and it is thought that the watercolour here offered was produced on his first tour in 1842 to the Illawarra district of New South Wales. According to Joan Kerr's 'Dictionary of Australian Artists' Prout's final tour to the Wollongong area was undertaken in 1843 prior to his departure for Van Diemen's Land in January 1844, and it was on this final trip that he drew his first recorded images of Aborigines. The painting here offered is dated 1842, at least twelve months prior and therefore an earlier record.

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