Glover's Corrobory | State Library of New South Wales

Natives at a Corrobory, Under the Wild Woods of the Country - John Glover

George Augustus Robinson, the then Protector of Aborigines for Van Diemen's Land, commissioned this painting from John Glover, which he hoped to use as a frontispiece for a book he was planning. In a letter to Robinson, Glover wrote that he wanted the picture to depict "the Natives at a corrobory, under the wild Woods of the Country - to give an idea of the manner they enjoyed themselves before being disturbed by the White People". He also wanted to "give an idea of the Scenery of the Country."

The subject of Aboriginal people in a corroboree at dusk in Southern Tasmania was, even by 1835, an idealised memory rather than reality. Glover had arrived in Van Diemen's Land towards the end of the 1820s, when many colonists were advocating the complete removal of the Aboriginal population to offshore island reservations.

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Glover's subtle handling of the last sunlight on the rocky outcrops, the deepening shadows on the river and the bleached, sparsely timbered bush shows great sensitivity in his rendering of the Australian landscape, and an understanding of its mood and tones unique amongst his contemporary colonial artists.

> Find the Library's catalogue record for Natives at a corrobory, under the wild woods of the Country [River Jordan below Brighton, Tasmania], ca. 1835, by John Glover catalogue link


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