Glover is best known now for his paintings of the Tasmanian landscape. He gave a fresh treatment to the effects of the Australian sunlight on the native bushland by depicting it bright and clear, a definite departure from the darker “English country garden” paradigm. Note this example ‘Patterdale Farm’.
His treatment of the local flora was also new because it was a more accurate depiction of the Australian trees and scrubland. Glover noted the “remarkable peculiarity of the trees” in Australia and observed that “however numerous, they rarely prevent your tracing through them the whole distant country”. ‘Natives on the Ouse River’ 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, it 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. John Glovers last major work was painted on his 79th birthday.
“Cawood”, on the Ouse River (image cropped)
Today the scenery hasn’t changed much in 169 years…..
Photo: The portrait of John Glover An Emigrant to Van Diemen’s Land and “Cawood”, on the Ouse River are used with the permission of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.