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Australian art

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(Bush landscape with waterfall, New South Wales)



John Skinner Prout

England, Australia

19 Dec 1805 - 29 Sep 1876


This rare oil painting by John Skinner Prout most likely 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.


Other Titles

(Cascade Falls, Hobart)

Cascade Falls, Tasmania

(Bush landscape with waterfall and an aborigine stalking native animals, New South Wales)



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


70.5 x 91.4 cm stretcher; 89.8 x 110.8 x 6.8 cm frame

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Purchased under the terms of the Florence Turner Blake Bequest 1976

Accession number


Artist information

John Skinner Prout

Works in the collection


Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 9 publications


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

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.

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

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

Barry Pearce and Haruo Arikawa, Two hundred years of Australian painting: nature, people and art in the southern continent, Tokyo, 1992, 47 (colour illus.). 9

Ursula Prunster., Art Gallery of New South Wales collection series 2, 'John Skinner Prout: Cascade Falls, Hobart', Sydney, 1982, cover (colour illus.).

Anne Ryan, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Colonial eyes', pg. 17-18, Sydney, 2000, 18, 24 (colour illus.), 301.

Smith & Singer, 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.

Peter Stanbury, Australia's Animals: who discovered them?, Sydney, 1978, cover (colour illus.).