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Natives on the Ouse River, Van Diemen's Land



John Glover

England, Australia

18 Feb 1767 - 09 Dec 1849


John Glover was already an established artist when he emigrated to Tasmania in 1831 at the age of 64. A highly successful watercolourist and painter of Arcadian views in the tradition of French landscapist Claude Lorrain, Glover quickly adapted his picturesque style and luminous technique to his new surrounds.

One of his most subjective works, this painting is informed by European notions of an Antipodean Arcadia, with Indigenous people living in a landscape unsullied by European contact. However, 'Natives on the Ouse River' stands in marked contrast to the actual situation of the traditional owners of Ouse River country - the Braylwunyer people of the Big River nation - which was one of dispossession and violence at the hands of the colonists.

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Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


78.0 x 115.6 cm stretcher; 106.0 x 143.5 x 14 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.l. verso, pen and black ink ".../ J. Glover 1838".


Purchased with assistance from Mr and Mrs J K Bain 1985

Accession number


Artist information

John Glover

Works in the collection


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 33 publications


Erica Burgess, John Glover and the Colonial Picturesque, 'Glover's oil paintings: materials and techniques', pg. 242-247, Hobart, 2003, 223 (colour illus.), 242 (colour illus. of verso of canvas), 243. titled 'Natives on the Ouse River, Van Diemen's Land'; dated 1838

Edmund Capon, 10 Masterpieces of Australian Painting, Sydney, 1993, (colour illus.).

Edmund Capon, I blame Duchamp: my life's adventures in art, 'John Bull and the Little Boy at Manly', pg. 321-333, Sydney, 2009, 328.

Robyn Donohue, Look, 'Arcadia: Nineteenth Century Australian Photography', pg. 22-23, Heidelberg, Oct 1998, 23.

Terry Ingram, A matter of taste: investing in Australian art, Sydney, 1976, (colour illus.). plate no. 3

Bruce James, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'The big idyll', pg. 12-13 (Spectrum), Sydney, 12 May 2001-13 May 2001, 12, 13 (colour illus.). NOTE: this article appears in Spectrum, pg. 12-13.

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 104 (colour illus.).

David Leser., The Australian, 'Masterpiece of poetic justice', Sydney, 05 Nov 1985, page unknown (illus.). Article about purchase of work with b&s photograph of Curator of Australian Art, Barry Pearce, standing in front of painting

Elwyn Lynn, The Australian, ' An eye for Glover's nature', Sydney, 20 Oct 1986, 6.

Elwyn Lynn (Editor), Art and Australia (Vol. 23, No. 2), Sydney, Summer 1985, 190 (colour illus.).

Terence Maloon and Ursula Prunster, Art & the West, 'Destruction & creation: The frontier', Sydney, 1987, (colour illus.). AUS 2 card.

Alan McCulloch, Encyclopedia of Australian Art (Vol.1, A-K), Hawthorn East, 1984, (illus.). 5

Ewen McDonald, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 10 (colour illus.).

Patricia McDonald, Art treasures: candidate citites for the 2000 Olympic Games: Beijing, Berlin, Brasilia, Istanbul, Manchester, Sydney, 'Natives on the Ouse River, Van Diemen's Land', pg. 160, Lausanne, 1993, 160, 161 (colour illus.). 1 Sydney

Barry Pearce, Look, 'A quiet love affair: private passion over 33 years gives birth to a book', pg. 26-29, Sydney, Sep 2014, 29 (colour illus.).

Barry Pearce, Look, 'A question of balance: How it is bringing changes to the old courts and beyond', pg. 28-29, Sydney, Sep 2009, 29 (colour illus.).

Barry Pearce, Southern reflections: 10 contemporary Australian artists, 'An Introduction to Australian Art', pg. 34-42, Sydney, 1998, 35 (colour illus.). 3

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 14-15 (colour illus.).

Laura Pia, Look, 'Seeing art takes more than looking: Audio description tours now at the Gallery', pg. 12-13, Sydney, Jul 2009, 13.

Ursula Prunster, Aspects of Australian art, Sydney, 2000, (colour illus.). card no. 1: John Glover 'Natives on the Ouse River, Van Diemen's Land' 1838

Ursula Prunster, Look, 'Image and identity: the perennial question of Australian identity features in the Gallery's 2001 lecture series', pg. 10-11, Melbourne, Dec 2000-Jan 2001, 11 (colour illus.).

Julie Roberts, Uncertain ground: essays between art + nature, 'The edge of the trees at the end of the millennium', pg. 125-141, Sydney, 1999, 129 (illus.), 130.

Anne Ryan, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Colonial eyes', pg. 17-18, Sydney, 2000, 18, 23 (colour illus.), 300.

Jill Sykes, Look, 'Barry Pearce’s next book-call it "segueing with intent"', pg. 28-29, Sydney, Mar 2012, 28 (colour illus.), 29.

Wayne Tunnicliffe and Deborah Edwards, Look, 'New Australia', pg. 24-27, Sydney, May 2012, 25.

Karl Rawdon von Stieglitz, A history of Hamilton, Ouse and Gretna, Launceston, 1963, (illus.).

Vivienne Webb, Look, 'Colonial perspective', pg. 22-23, Melbourne, Apr 2001, 22 (colour illus.), 23.

Vivienne Webb, Australian Collection Focus: John Glover Natives on the Ouse River, Van Diemen's Land 1838, 'The Woods of Arcady are dead...', pg. 2-6, Sydney, 2001, front cover (colour illus., detail), 2-4, 5 (colour illus.), 6-8.

Judith White, art lovers: The Story of the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 1953-2013, 'Chapter 3: Changing of the guard 1972-1979', pp. 65-84, Sydney, 2013, 70.

Judith White, Look, 'Olympians of Australian art', pg. 16-18, Melbourne, Jul 2000, 17 (colour illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily telegraph, 'Glover toast of gallery', Sydney, 05 Nov 1985, page unknown (illus.). Article about purchase of work with b&s photograph of Curator of Australian Art, Barry Pearce, standing in front of painting

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Australian financial review, '$2,000 per native - one way of pricing a Glover', pg. 36, 42., Sydney, 21 Mar 1974, 36.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Australian financial review, 'Cattle in a swam, p -, Sydney, 14 Mar 1974, 30.