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A Group of Tasmanian Aborigines

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Robert Dowling was Australia’s first major colonial-trained professional artist. Within Australian art historical terms, this was a milestone of great significance. Dowling gave up his saddlery trade to launch himself as a professional portrait painter in Launceston in 1850. It was still pre-gold rush Australia, and our first locally formed professional painter emerged at the age of 23. Dowling made claims of being self-taught but, despite the fact that the colonies had no academies of art for formal training or public art collections to study, the young artist had opportunities to learn from other colonial artists, including Frederick Strange and Thomas Bock, and from the work of Henry Mundy.
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  1. junglejim24:46
  2. Mooro432:46
  3. oldman7747:10
  4. Mpseiden58:37
  5. yipes1:02:56
  6. lilliewoon1:09:41


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You're very welcome @Mooro4
Your take on Dowling is pretty much what I thought too. Thanks for commenting.


Enjoyed this, DougBRuce - I like seeing early impressions of indigenous people. Dowling treated the people in this painting with dignity. Kind of brings to mind the earlier works of George Catlin and his depictions of the American West before things completely changed. Thank you...

OMG This is another early colonialist painter doing a romantic view of the natives.

Absolutely. And culturally significant too. The painter obviously painted what he saw.


Thanks for your comment @Mpseiden
I thought it was a terrific image and worthy of making into a puzzle.

A beautiful glimpse into a nearly lost past.