John Prout1805 - 1876 Wedderburn Falls 1854
- watercolour on paper
Prout was associated with the British School of plein air painters of the 1820s adn 1830s before his arrival in Sydney. However all evidence suggests this work was painted six years after his return to England.
Wedderburn is about half-way between Bendigo in the north-east of Victoria and Swan Hill on the Murray River. No river runs through or near the town and no picnicing spot or site named 'Wedderburn Falls' is known in the area.
The question is unsolved as to whether this is a composite view from an Australian sketch, painted some years after the event and perhaps mistakenly remembered as 'Wedderburn Falls' or whether it is an English or Scottish beauty spot, in which case, the Australian flora is a creative composite rather than an accurate painting of that site.
Whatever the case, the fact remains that John Skinner Prout's plein air practice informed his eye, and the pictorial translation is one of accurate detail and liveliness combined with a romantic interpretation of the landscape.
Source: Christine Sharkey, The Song of the Lamb: The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art, Art Gallery of Western Australia, 1989, p. 41