Two paintings by renowned Tasmanian landscape artist John Glover will stay in the state after winemaker Josef Chromy bought them at auction in Launceston on Wednesday.
- John Glover is regarded as the “father of Australian landscape painting”
- He painted the artworks in 1840, after settling in Tasmania from England
- The paintings had been stored at Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum for three decades
The Launceston-based entrepreneur paid $162,000 for the pair of oil paintings, which were described by the auctioneer at Armitage Auctions as among the most significant items he had ever dealt with.
Mr Chromy said he had hoped for years to own a John Glover landscape painting.
“I’m very happy, and that was my dream for a long time,” he said.
“When I came to Australia in 1951, I was interested in art and that [buying a Glover] was number one.”
The pair of oil paintings, referred to collectively as “In the Val d’Aosta Switzerland”, depict landscapes Glover saw and sketched while travelling in northern Italy.
He painted them in Tasmania around 1840 using oil paints sourced from Campbell Town artisan Charles Leake and they were framed in Launceston by William Wilson.
Auctioneer Neil O’Brien said Glover often painted scenes from previous sketches he had made while touring before settling in Tasmania in 1831.
“He brought hundreds of sketch books with him to Australia,” he said.
The paintings were privately owned but had been stored at the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston. (ABC News: Laura Beavis)
“Whilst he did do a lot of Australian landscapes and a lot of paintings of Australia, he still remained doing quite a lot of paintings from his sketchbooks from Britain and around the world.”
The paintings had been privately owned but were stored at the Queen Victoria Museum for more than 30 years.
Mr O’Brien said it was unusual for Glover paintings that were signed and had such an easily traceable history to come onto the market.
The two paintings were based on sketches Glover made while touring Italy in the early 1800s. (ABC News: Laura Beavis)
“To have that provenance and to have that gateway back to when they were first given from Glover is remarkable,” he said.
“Normally, these paintings come out of the woodwork — they’re picked up a garage sales, they’re found in lofts of houses.
“These are probably two of the most significant paintings that we’ve offered for auction, so we feel very honoured and privileged.”