John Skinner Prout

JS Prout, 'Cape Raoul', 1844, (ALMFA, SLT)

John Skinner Prout (1805 76), artist and lithographer, emigrated in 1840 from England to Sydney, where he continued to produce lithographic views, teach, lecture and paint watercolour views. In 1844 he moved to Hobart, where he commenced drawing Hobart and environs for a series of lithographic views, Tasmania illustrated. He lectured on painting, and instigated the first major exhibition of art in an Australian colony in 1845, and another in 1846. That year, with other artists, he completed an excursion to Lake St Clair then Launceston and Flinders Island. Back in Hobart, Skinner Prout produced the first coloured lithograph, of Wellington Falls, to be produced in Australia. His best-known works produced in Tasmania were numerous landscapes, and portraits of Tasmanian Aborigines and Maori convicts. In 1848 he returned to England.

Further reading: T Brown, 'Skinner Prout', Art and Australia 22/4, 1985; T Brown & H Kolenberg, Skinner Prout in Australia 1840–48, Hobart, 1986; T Brown, 'John Skinner Prout', Dictionary of Australian artists, Melbourne, 1992; T Brown, 'John Skinner Prout', The World of Antiques & Art, June–December 2000.

Tony Brown