(England, Australia 19 Dec 1805 – 29 Sep 1876)
70.5 x 91.4 cm stretcher; 89.8 x 110.8 x 6.8 cm frame
This rare oil painting by John Skinner Prout depicts Willoughby Falls near Sydney. The luxuriantly forested landscape is filled with native plants and animals, appealing to an English Romantic taste for exotica. An idealised, Arcadian view, it is removed from the reality of European settlement at this time and its detrimental effects on the Indigenous population.
This painting was incorrectly recorded on several occasions as depicting a scene in Tasmania, where Prout worked between 1844 and 1848. A close study of the flora and fauna in the painting, however, substantiates that it is a NSW setting.
Sotheby's Australia, Sotheby's Melbourne: The Foster's collection of Australian art, 23 May 2005, Armadale, 2005, 12. lot no. 3 is a related work, 'Aborigine stalking - Willoughby Falls, New South Wales', watercolour and gouache on paper, 66.5 x 90.5cm, circa 1945, reproduced on page 13.
Christie's, Australia Pty. Ltd., Christie's Australia. Australian and International Painting. Melbourne 22 August 2000, South Yarra, 2000, 102. lot no. 121 is a related work, 'Willoughby Falls, New South Wales', oil on canvas, 89.0 x 70.5cm, circa 1842.
Anne Ryan, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Colonial eyes', pg. 17-18, Sydney, 2000, 18, 24 (colour illus.), 301.
Robyn Donohue, Look, 'Arcadia: Nineteenth Century Australian Photography', pg. 22-23, Heidelberg, Oct 1998, 23.
Barry Pearce and Haruo Arikawa, Two hundred years of Australian painting: nature, people and art in the southern continent, Tokyo, 1992, 47 (colour illus.). cat.no. 9
Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 15.
Tim Bonyhady, Images in opposition: Australian landscape painting 1801-1890, 'An Aboriginal Arcadia', pg. 23-39, Melbourne, 1985, 34, 173. titled 'Cascade Falls, Hobart'; plate no. 3 (colour) between pg. 34 and pg. 35
Ursula Prunster., Art Gallery of New South Wales collection series 2, 'John Skinner Prout: Cascade Falls, Hobart', Sydney, 1982, cover (colour illus.).
Peter Stanbury, Australia's Animals: who discovered them?, Sydney, 1978, cover (colour illus.).
Art and Art Treasures, National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne, 1869–1869
Samuel Elyard (1817-1910): Landscape painter and photographer, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 01 Jul 1982–08 Aug 1982
John Skinner Prout in Australia (1986), Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, 09 Nov 1986–01 Feb 1987
Skinner Prout in Australia 1840-48:
Two hundred years of Australian painting : Nature, people and art in the southern continent: