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Jimmy, of the Hampshire Hills, Van Diemen's Land by Rober t Dowling.
SON OF THE EMPIRE
Discover the story of Australia's first
colonial-trained artist in Robert Dowling:
Tasmanian Son of Empire.
How do you become an artist? Today,
you go to art school. But what if you were
apprenticed to a saddle-maker in Tasmania
in the early 19th century? What then?
Robert Dowling was Australia's first major
professional artist to learn his craft locally.
He began training at 23, under local and
European-trained artists, such as Frederick
Strange, omas Bock and Henry Mundy.
In the early 19th century, although
it was on the other side of the world,
Tasmania enabled a young man of talent
to flourish, says Ron Radford, director of
the National Gallery of Australia. It was, he
says, "a balanced, colonial microcosm of
late-Georgian English culture supporting
sophisticated architecture, furniture-
makers, silversmiths, frame-makers and,
importantly for Dowling, a surprising
number of portrait painters, as well as
still-life, marine and landscape painters".
Robert Dowling: Tasmanian Son of Empire
presents the artist's portraits, including
those of pastoralists and their properties,
portraits and compositions of Indigenous
people, biblical subjects, social history
subjects and oriental subjects. It's testament
to a rare mix of talent and determination.
From July 24 to October 3, National Gallery
of Australia. Visit nga.gov.au.
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