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William Paxton
Title : William Paxton William Paxton
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Creator : Gill, S. T. (Samuel Thomas), 1818-1880 artist
Source : B 334
Date of creation : ca. 1850
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 123 x 89 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

A drawing from S.T.Gill's "Heads of the People" of William Paxton, a druggist on Hindley Street. Artist's caption reads "Throw physic to the dogs".


Gill was one of the most prolific water-colour painters working in Australia in the nineteenth century. He was an artist who was often out in the field in the Adelaide Hills or the Flinders Ranges, and on the spot at mine sites, in city streets, at Port Adelaide, the races or at the Agricultural and Horticultural Society's annual show. He was part of Horrocks' expedition of 1846 to central Australia, where he offered a free service as official illustrator.

In 1840, Gill established a studio in Adelaide and advertised for those desirous of obtaining correct likenesses of themselves, familiesor friends, animals, local scenery and residences, to contact him. He captured detailed scenes of colonial life in the streets of Adelaide and Melbourne, in the South Australian countryside and on the Victorian gold fields. Gill created a charicature folio of captioned portraits of well known Adelaideans named 'Heads of the people' which was later published (1850).

Gill used techniques he acquired in England in his youth and developed during his years in Australia. The immediacy and freshness of the water-colour painting technique was ideally suited to the lively style of the artist. Although Gill mostly restricted himself to the water-colour sketch, perhaps due to its portable and convenient nature (apart from his 'Heads of the people' lithographic series), his work faithfully describes the vastness of the land and the energy of its people. Gill displayed qualities of imagination, delicacy, and poetic feeling but is often only known as the artist of the gold fields.

Subjects
Related names :

Gill, S.T. (Samuel Thomas), 1818-1880

Horrocks, John Ainsworth, 1818-1846

Paxton, William, pharmacist

Coverage year : 1850
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Adelaide
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

Appleyard, Ron S.T. Gill, the South Australian years 1839-1852. Adelaide: Art Gallery of South Australia, 1986

Auhl, I and Marfleet, D Australia's earliest mining era : South Australia, 1841-1851 Adelaide : Rigby, 1975

Bernard, S Place, taste and tradition : a study of Australian art since 1788 Melbourne : Oxford University Press, 1979

Brock, Daniel George, To the desert with Sturt: a diary of the 1844 expedition Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, South Australian Branch, 1975

Bowden, Keith Macrae Samuel Thomas Gill: artist. [Collaroy, N.S.W.] : K.M. Bowden, [1971]

Cumpston, J. H. L. Charles Sturt: his life and journeys of exploration Melbourne: Georgian House, 1951

Dutton, Geoffrey S.T. Gill's Australia. South Melbourne: Macmillan, 1981

Gill, S. T. Paintings of S.T. Gill Adelaide: Rigby, 1962

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