Land auction, main road Ballarat - interval of ten minutes for harmony and refreshment
S T Gill
21 May 1818 - 27 Oct 1880
The son of a Baptist minister and schoolmaster, Samuel Thomas Gill was educated at his father's school in Devonshire, England, where his ability to draw was first noticed. He came to Australia with his parents in 1839 and soon after set himself up in a studio in Adelaide, advertising:
'He solicits the attendance of such individuals as are desirous of obtaining correct likenesses of themselves, families, or friends ... Correct resemblances of horses, dogs &c. with local scenery, &c. executed to order. Residences sketched and transfered to paper ...' ('South Australian Register' March 1840, see 'S T Gill, the South Australian years 1839-1852', Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 1986, pg. 1).
Gill is best known for his drawings, watercolours and lithographs of early colonial life and landscapes in South Australia, Victoria and NSW. He took an interest in the exploits of explorers Edward John Eyre and Charles Sturt and accompanied John Horrocks on his ill-fated expedition north of the Flinders Ranges in 1846. His images of life on the Victorian goldfields are among his most memorable, resulting in several lithographic series between 1852 and 1855. There are also two series of Sydney lithographs, dated 1856. A keen sense of humour is a feature of his work and a capacity for revealing the essentials of a subject.
excerpt from Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, '19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels in the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005
Land auction, Main Road, Ballarat
pencil, grey wash on buff paper
26.8 x 37.8 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed l.l. corner, pencil "S.T.G". Dated l.r. corner, pencil "... 1854/ ...".
Not on display
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Five years on: a selection of acquisitions 1981-1986, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Sep 1986–23 Nov 1986
Everyday Life, prints, drawings and watercolours from the collections of Australian and European Art:
Australian drawings from the Gallery's collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Dec 1997–15 Mar 1998
19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Apr 2005–24 Jul 2005
Referenced in 4 publications
Five years on: a selection of acquisitions 1981-1986, Sydney, 1986, (illus.). cat.no. 219
19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 2005, 46 (colour illus.).
Australian drawings from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1997, 20 (illus.). cat.no. 4
Everyday life: prints drawings and watercolours from the collections of Australian and European art, Sydney, 1994. cat.no. 32