Early coastal scene by landmark Australian painter comes to auction at Ewbank’s.
Forrest’s views also used in Tasmania’s first ever pictorial stamps
When the six colonies of pre-Federation Australia chose the images for their first ever set of pictorial stamps, the authorities in Tasmania turned to Haughton Forrest (1826-1925), one of the first Western artists to capture the majesty of the country’s landscape on canvas.
His painting Russell Falls, depicting a celebrated tiered cascade at the centre of Tasmania, was selected as the image for the 4d stamp, while his view of Mount Wellington was used for the 1d stamp.
The set, first issued in 1899, was reprinted and reissued several times until 1912, with Australia as a nation issuing its first set of stamps in 1913.
Now Ewbank’s Auctions are to sell another Australian painting by Forrest as part of their 30th Anniversary sale on March 19.
‘Cowes’, Schooner and other ships in a Bay against a mountainous landscape, a signed and dated and inscribed oil on canvas, dates to the 1870s (the exact date is indistinct) when Forrest took up residency on Tasmania, acting as Bailiff of Crown Lands, Inspector of Nuisances and Superintendent of Police.
Cowes is on Phillip Island, approximately 200kkm north of Tasmania off the coast of Southern Australia.
The 44cm x 75cm picture depicts the schooner, with only one sail raised, in the calm waters of a sound, with other ships and boats visible through the mist and the formidable mountains plunging down into the water as a dramatic background, possibly the peaks of the nearby Mornington Peninsula
Forrest, the son of an equerry to Queen Victoria, took up sailing and painting in the south of England following a military career as a Captain in the Honourable Artillery Company, and produced a number of canvases of boats and ships, later painting others in the setting of Highland lochs.
He left England with his family in 1875, initially to try his hand running a plantation in Brazil then, a year later, in north eastern Tasmania, before abandoning the idea and becoming a Crown official. In 1881, he gave up all his official posts and devoted his attention full time to painting, settling in a suburb of Hobart.
With a career spanning more than 70 years, he produced over 3,000 paintings, many in public and private collections in Australia.
Live online bidding is available via Ewbank’s website at www.ewbankauctions.co.uk
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