John Glover (artist)

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John Glover
John Glover, attributed to John Glover.jpg
John Glover
Born (1767-02-18)18 February 1767
Houghton on the Hill, Leicestershire,
 United Kingdom
Died 9 December 1849(1849-12-09) (aged 82)
'Patterdale house', Launceston,
Australia Tasmania, Australia
Nationality United Kingdom British
Education Free School, Appleby
Known for landscape
Notable work 'Mount Wellington and Hobart Town from Kangaroo Point' 1831–33
'Natives on the Ouse River, Van Diemen's Land'
'Aboriginal Coroboree in Van Diemen's Land'
'A View of the Artists House and Garden, Mill's Plains', 1834-5
Movement Claudean style, picturesque
Spouse(s) Sarah

John Glover (18 February 1767 – 9 December 1849) was an English/Australian artist in what is known as the early colonial period of Australian art. In Australia he has been dubbed the father of Australian landscape painting

Life in Europe[edit]

Glover was born at Houghton-on-Hill in Leicestershire, England. His parents were farmer William Glover and Ann (née Bright). He showed a talent for drawing at an early age, and in 1794 was practising as an artist and drawing-master at Lichfield. The Countess of Harrington helped establish his practice as an art instructor, and may have taken lessons from him herself.[1] Removed to London in 1805, became a member of the Old Water Colour Society, and was elected its president in 1807. In the ensuing years he exhibited a large number of pictures at the exhibitions of this society, and also at the Royal Academy and the Society of British Artists. He had one-man shows in London in 1823 and 1824. He was a very successful artist and, although never elected a member of the Academy, his reputation stood very high with the public.

Glover achieved fame as a painter of "Italianate" romantic landscapes of Britain (including The falls of Foyers on Loch Ness, the Lake District and London) and Southern Europe. He became known in both England and France as the English Claude. This phrase was making comparison with Glover and the French seventeenth century artist Claude Lorrain, whose works collected by eighteenth century English "grand tourists", strongly influenced the evolution of the English style, in both painting and the layout of landscape gardens.[2]

Arrival in Australia[edit]

Glover arrived in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), Australia on his 64th birthday in 1831, two decades before the goldrush of the 1850s. He brought with him a strong reputation as a landscape painter. He acquired one of the largest grants of land in Van Diemen's Land at the time at Mills Plains, Deddington. He named his new property Patterdale after Blowick Farm, a property near Patterdale, at the foot of Ullswater in the Lake District. Glover's grant placed him within close proximity to Kingston, the home of John Batman (later to co-found Melbourne) and his relationship to his neighbour appears to be fraught.[3] Glover helped build the Chapel at Deddington and is buried within these grounds.[4]

Art in Australia[edit]

Australian landscape with cattle: the artist's property Patterdale, oil on canvas by John Glover, circa 1835, National Library of Australia
The bath of Diana, Van Diemen's Land, 1837

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'.[5]

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.[6] John Glover's last major work was painted on his 79th birthday.

Australian legacy[edit]

The John Glover Society was established on Aug 22, 2001 to honor and promote Glover's memory and his contribution to Australian art. The society commissioned a life-size statue of Glover unveiled in February 2003 in Evandale, Tasmania.[7] It also runs an annual landscape art competition called the Glover Prize in Tasmania.[8]

John Glover's work features in many prominent art galleries throughout Australia (and the world). His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and a symposium in Australia.[9]

From 2004, The John Glover Society has awarded the Glover Prize for depictions of Tasmanian landscapes, the richest art prize in Australia for landscape painting.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jane Fleming, later Countess of Harrington". Huntington Library. 
  2. ^ John Glover Society (10 May 2006). "About John Glover". Glover Prize. Archived from the original on 27 April 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-25. 
  3. ^ Campbell, Alastair (1987). John Batman and the aborigines. Malmsbury, Vic: Kibble Books. ISBN 0908150083. 
  4. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  5. ^ "Patterdale farm, (circa 1840) by John Glover :: The Collection". Art Gallery NSW. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  6. ^ "Natives on the Ouse River, Van Diemen's Land, (1838) by John Glover :: The Collection". Art Gallery NSW. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  7. ^ "The John Glover Society". John Glover Society. Retrieved 25 May 2006. 
  8. ^ "The Glover Prize". John Glover Society. Retrieved 25 May 2006. 
  9. ^ Glen Mulcaster (23 March 2004). "Following Glover's footsteps". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2006-05-25. 
  10. ^ "Tasmanian wins Glover landscape prize". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 10 March 2006. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Martin Bryant painting wins Glover prize". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 9 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

Glover, John (1767-1849) in libraries (WorldCat catalog)