Incredible Images of Nineteenth-Century Australia

Many people will be familiar with the wonderful watercolour paintings of colonial Australia created by artist Samuel Thomas Gill, including the many images of young Adelaide, the South Australian copper mines, the Flinders Ranges, booming Melbourne and the colony of New South Wales.

However it’s likely that the best know of Gill’s work is the enormous range of images he created on the Victorian goldfields. Art historian and critic, Robert Hughes, felt that Gill was exactly the right type of artist to record the activities of the gold rush:

Everything on the goldfields was grist to his mill; in landscape, the scrubby gums, dark shafts and sunlit bullock-heaps, red clay banks, streams and sluices; the washing-troughs and racks of shovels, the furnaces and weighing-stations where miners brought their dust and watched out for rigged scales; the fights over claims, the diggers swinging picks or sleeping at the bottom of a shaft; the honky-tonk pubs…

S. T. Gill was however so much more than the artist of the goldfields. He created thousands of watercolours and drawings of colonial Australia and was possibly the most prolific of all Australian artists.

My latest book, currently with the publisher, traces Gill’s life in Australia from his arrival in Adelaide in 1838 until his tragic death in Melbourne in 1880. I have selected over 130 of Gill’s images for the book to enable readers to have a window into the activities, events, people and places of nineteenth-century Australia.

The history of the Australian colonies comes alive through Gills many images. The book is entitled: Colonial Artist S. T. Gill - A Window Into Nineteenth-Century Australia Through Colonial Art.


Gill was part of an expedition into north-western South Australia and created many wonderful images in a remote part of that colony. He was the first European artist to paint the Flinders Ranges. An example of his Flinders images, entitled The George, is attached.


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