Benjamin Duterrau

Benjamin Duterrau (2 March 1768 – 11 July 1851) was an English painter, etcher, engraver, sculptor and art lecturer who emigrated to Tasmania. There he became known for his images of Indigenous people and Australian history paintings.[1]

The squires door by DUTERRAU, BENJAMIN - GMII
The squire's door (1790)


Duterrau was born in Soho in London, and was of Anglo-French descent. The parish record of Saint Anne, Soho, gives his baptism date as 24 March 1768, father 'Benjamin Dutterreau' and mother 'Sarah'. His father was a watchmaker. Duterrau was apprenticed to an engraver and in 1790 did two coloured stipple engravings after Morland, The Farmer's Door and The Squire's Door. Taking up painting, between 1817 and 1823 he exhibited six portraits at Royal Academy exhibitions, and he also exhibited three genre pieces at the British Institution about the same period.

Duterrau emigrated to Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), arriving in August 1832 with his daughter. He lived at the corner of Campbell and Patrick Streets in Hobart, and practised as a portrait painter. In 1833, at the Hobart Mechanics' Hall, he was the first man in the colony to give a lecture on art.[2] In 1835 he did some etchings of Indigenous Australians, the first examples of that craft to be done in Australia. His most famous painting "The Conciliation" is in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart with a self-portrait and other works, including some modelling in relief. A large landscape is in the Beattie collection at Launceston, and he is also represented in the Dixon collection at Sydney. Duterrau died at Hobart in 1851.

Duterrau's gravestone lies in Hobart's Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, which erroneously names 'Bengamin Duterrau'. The spelling of Benjamin is the same in English and French but the sounds of the letters being spelled is different. Duterrau, though born in London, was the son of immigrant French parents whose first language would have been French and his education and language at home may well have been largely in French. This author suggests that the misspelling on his gravestone is the result of a spelling by either a French speaker to an English speaker or that Duterrau had always spelled his name to people in French alphabet where the English 'G' is pronounced 'jay' in French and 'J' as 'gee'.


His daughter Jane (1812–1885) married John Bogle (1808–1879), a colonial merchant, in Hobart, Tasmania in February 1838, before returning to Britain.[3] Their son Adam played for the Royal Engineers in the 1872 FA Cup Final.


Benjamin Duterrau - Edith, Mrs George Gatehouse - Google Art Project

Edith, Mrs George Gatehouse (c. 1834)

Benjamin Duterrau - Timmy, a Tasmanian Aboriginal, throwing a spear - Google Art Project

Timmy, a Tasmanian Aboriginal, throwing a spear (1838)

Benjamin Duterrau - Mr Robinson's first interview with Timmy - Google Art Project

Mr Robinson's first interview with Timmy (1840)

Benjamin Duterrau - Jack, a Tasmanian Aboriginal, holding a club - Google Art Project

Jack, a Tasmanian Aboriginal, holding a club (1841)

Last of the Tasmanians Woodcut 7 - Manalagana


Last of the Tasmanians Woodcut 5 - Mr Robinson on his conciliation mission

Mr Robinson on his conciliation mission


  1. ^ Benjamin Duterrau (National Gallery of Australia)
  2. ^ Gleeson, James (1971). Australian painters. Weldon. p. 101. ISBN 1863021108. OCLC 977023651.
  3. ^ "Benjamin Duterrau". Retrieved 18 February 2015.

External links

1768 in art

Events from the year 1768 in art.

1837 in art

Events from the year 1837 in art.

1851 in art

Events from the year 1851 in art.

Aboriginal Tasmanians

The Aboriginal Tasmanians (Tasmanian: Palawa) are the Aboriginal people of the Australian state of Tasmania, located south of the mainland. For much of the 20th century, the Tasmanian Aboriginal people were widely, and erroneously, thought of as being an extinct cultural and ethnic group. Contemporary figures (2016) for the number of people of Tasmanian Aboriginal descent vary according to the criteria used to determine this identity, ranging from 6,000 to over 23,000.First arriving in Tasmania (then a peninsula of Australia) around 40,000 years ago, the ancestors of the Aboriginal Tasmanians were cut off from the Australian mainland by rising sea levels c. 6000 BC. They were entirely isolated from the rest of the human race for 8,000 years until British contact.

Before British colonisation in 1803, there were an estimated 3,000–15,000 Palawa. The Palawa population suffered a drastic drop in numbers within three decades, so that by 1835 only some 400 full-blooded Tasmanian aborigines survived, most of this remnant being incarcerated in camps where all but 47 died within the following 12 years. No consensus exists as to the cause, over which a major controversy arose. The traditional view, still affirmed, held that this dramatic demographic collapse was the result of the impact of introduced diseases, rather than the consequence of policy. Geoffrey Blainey, for example, wrote that by 1830 in Tasmania: "Disease had killed most of them but warfare and private violence had also been devastating." Henry Reynolds attributed the depletion to losses in the Black War. Keith Windschuttle claimed that in addition to disease, the prostitution of women in a society already in decline, explained the extinction. Many specialists in the history of colonialism and genocide, such as Ben Kiernan, Colin Tatz, and Benjamin Madley state that the Tasmanian decimation qualifies as genocide in terms of the definition set forth by Raphael Lemkin and adopted in the UN Genocide Convention.By 1833, Christian missionary George Augustus Robinson, sponsored by Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur, had persuaded the approximately 200 surviving Aboriginal Tasmanians to surrender themselves with assurances that they would be protected, provided for and eventually have their lands returned to them. These "assurances" were false; there is no suggestion that Robinson or Lieutenant-Governor Arthur intended anything else but exile to the Furneaux Islands, and the assurances were given by Robinson in order to facilitate the removal of the Aboriginal people from mainland Tasmania. The survivors were moved to Wybalenna Aboriginal Establishment on Flinders Island, where diseases continued to reduce their numbers even further. In 1847, the last 47 living inhabitants of Wybalenna were transferred to Oyster Cove, south of Hobart. Two individuals, Truganini (1812–1876) and Fanny Cochrane Smith (1834–1905), are separately considered to have been the last people solely of Tasmanian descent.The complete Aboriginal Tasmanian languages have been lost; some original Tasmanian language words remained in use with Palawa people in the Furneaux Islands, and there are some efforts to reconstruct a language from the available wordlists. Today, some thousands of people living in Tasmania describe themselves as Aboriginal Tasmanians since a number of Parlevar women bore children to European men in the Furneaux Islands and mainland Tasmania.

Adam Bogle

Major Adam Bogle (21 June 1848 – 3 March 1915) was a British soldier, who played for the Royal Engineers in the 1872 FA Cup Final.

Australian art

Australian art is any art made in or about Australia, or by Australians overseas, from prehistoric times to the present. This includes Aboriginal, Colonial, Landscape, Atelier, early-twentieth-century painters, print makers, photographers, and sculptors influenced by European modernism, Contemporary art. The visual arts have a long history in Australia, with evidence of Aboriginal art dating back at least 30,000 years. Australia has produced many notable artists of both Western and Indigenous Australian schools, including the late-19th-century Heidelberg School plein air painters, the Antipodeans, the Central Australian Hermannsburg School watercolourists, the Western Desert Art Movement and coeval examples of well-known High modernism and Postmodern art.

Black War

The Black War was the period of violent conflict between British colonists and Aboriginal Australians in Tasmania from the mid-1820s to 1832. The conflict, fought largely as a guerrilla war by both sides, claimed the lives of more than 200 European colonists and between 600 and 900 Aboriginal people, nearly annihilating the island's indigenous population. The near-destruction of the Aboriginal Tasmanians, and the frequent incidence of mass killings, has sparked debate among historians over whether the Black War should be defined as an act of genocide.The terms "Black War" and "Black Line" were coined by journalist Henry Melville in 1835, but historian Lyndall Ryan has argued that it should be known as the Tasmanian War. She has also called for the erection of a public memorial to the fallen from both sides of the war.The escalation of violence in the late 1820s prompted Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur to declare martial law—effectively providing legal immunity for killing Aboriginal people—and in late 1830 to order a massive six-week military offensive known as the Black Line, in which 2200 civilians and soldiers formed a series of moving cordons stretching hundreds of kilometres across the island in order to drive Aboriginal people from the colony's settled districts to the Tasman Peninsula in the southeast, where it was intended they would remain permanently confined.The Black War was prompted by the rapid spread of British settlers and agricultural livestock throughout areas of Tasmania that had been traditional Aboriginal hunting grounds. Historian Nicholas Clements has described the Aboriginal violence as a resistance movement—the use of force against an invading or occupying enemy. He said the Aboriginal attacks were motivated by revenge for European atrocities and the widespread kidnapping, rape and murder of Aboriginal women and girls by convicts, settlers and soldiers, but particularly from the late 1820s the Aboriginal people were also driven by hunger to plunder settlers' homes for food as their hunting grounds shrank, native game disappeared and the dangers of hunting on open ground grew. European violence, meanwhile, was motivated by mounting terror of Aboriginal attacks and a conviction that extermination of the Aboriginal population was the only means by which peace could be secured. Clements noted: "As black violence grew in intensity, so too did the frequency of revenge attacks and pre-emptive strikes by frontiersmen."Attacks were launched by groups of Aboriginal people almost always in daylight with a variety of weapons including spears, rocks and waddies used to kill and maim settlers and shepherds, as well as their livestock, while homes, haystacks and crops were often set alight. European attacks, in contrast, were mainly launched at night or in the early hours of dawn by pursuit parties or roving parties of civilians or soldiers who aimed to strike as their quarry slept in bush camps. Women and children were commonly casualties on both sides.

From 1830 Arthur offered rewards for the capture of Aboriginal people, but bounties were also paid when Aboriginal people were killed. From 1829 efforts were made with the aid of humanitarian George Augustus Robinson to launch a "friendly mission" to persuade Aboriginal people to surrender and be removed to an island sanctuary; from November 1830 to December 1831 several groups accepted his offer and 46 were initially placed on Flinders Island, from which escape was deemed to be impossible. Although conflict between Aboriginal people and settlers almost completely ceased from January 1832, another 148 Aboriginal people were captured in the island's northwest over the next four years as a "clean up" and forcibly removed to Hunter Island and then Flinders Island.

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