Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-1880) Baby, 1867

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Lot 6
Samuel Thomas Gill
(1818-1880)
Baby, 1867

AU$ 10,000 - 15,000
US$ 7,200 - 11,000

Important Australian Art

17 Nov 2021, 18:00 EST

Sydney

Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-1880)
Baby, 1867
initialled lower left: 'STG'
titled lower right: 'Baby'
watercolour and pencil on paper
24.0 x 35.5cm (9 7/16 x 14in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Private collection, Melbourne
    Dr Joseph Brown, Melbourne
    Christie's, Paintings from the Dr Joseph Brown Collection, Melbourne, 17 May 2005, lot 86
    Private collection, Melbourne

    LITERATURE
    Daniel Thomas, Outlines of Australian art : The Joseph Brown Collection, MacMillan, Melbourne, 1980, pl.14 (illus.), pp. 18, 78


    Samuel Thomas Gill arrived in Adelaide with his family aboard the Caroline in 1839 as a twenty-one year old. He was already a trained and practising artist and upon his arrival, advertised in the South Australian Register – 'S.T. Gill, Artists, etc. late Draughtsman and Water Colour Painter to the Hubard Profile Gallery of London, begs to announce to his friends and the public generally of Adelaide and its vicinity that he has opened rooms in Gawler Place where he for the present solicits the attendance of such individuals as are desirous of obtaining correct likeness of themselves, families or friends. Parties preferring attendances at their residences may be accommodated without additional charge. Correct resemblances of horses, dogs, etc., with local scenery etc., executed to order'.

    In the following 12 years, Gill produced animated images of life in early Adelaide and its surrounds whilst also documenting momentous occasions such as Sturt's overland expedition leaving Adelaide, 10th August 1844, now in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. In the early 1850s, as news swept the world that Victoria was on the verge of a gold rush, the temptation of striking it rich drew prospective miners from all parts of the globe. Following a series of personal tragedies and ill health, Gill joined a large contingent of South Australians making their way to the goldfields, including fellow artist George French Angas. It's possible that he first tried his luck in the gold fields. However, it was not long before he was recording the life and times of his comrades and the emergence of Victorian towns such as Bendigo and Ballarat.

    'S.T. Gill is the artist most commonly associated with the Victorian goldfields for he produced many lively drawings and lithographs illustrating their activities... Nobody in Australian art has captured the cheerful animation of city crowds, of miners, or outback workers so well as he. He is a very democratic pictorial journalist, who might have taken up photography in a later age, and exploited its immediacy and speed. The sketch of a woman called 'Baby', said to have been his favourite barmaid belongs to his gold rush period.'1

    Alex Clark

    1. Daniel Thomas, Outlines of Australian art : The Joseph Brown Collection, MacMillan, Melbourne, 1980, p. 18
Contacts
Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-1880) Baby, 1867
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