PROUT, John Skinner (1806-1876)

PROUT, John Skinner (1806-1876)
was born at Plymouth, England, in 1806. He painted chiefly in water-colour, and came to Australia towards the end of 1840. He lectured on art at Sydney with success and endeavoured to arrange an exhibition of pictures, but was obliged to abandon the project. In 1844 he went to Hobart and organized the first exhibition of pictures held in Australia in January 1845. A second exhibition was held in 1846 and a third at Launceston in the beginning of 1848. Prout returned to England in that year and lived first at Bristol and then at London. He was elected a member of the New Water Colour Society (now the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-colour). He died at London on 29 August 1876.
Prout was a capable enough artist in water-colour though over-shadowed by his uncle Samuel Prout. Besides illustrative work in England he published during his residence in Australia, Sydney Illustrated (1844), Tasmania Illustrated (1844), and Views of Melbourne and Geelong (1847). Examples of his work in water-colour will be found in the national galleries at Sydney and Hobart, at the Mitchell library, Sydney, and at the Commonwealth national library, Canberra. He has the distinction of having been the first to organize art in Australia, and had no little influence in its early days both as a lecturer and as a painter.
The Art Union, November 1848; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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