The Browns of Montrose, near Mintaro, Jo Vandpeer

Vol 43 no 2, May 2021
Article from Vol 43 no 2, May 2021

The Browns of Montrose, near Mintaro, Jo Vandpeer


This darling little painting came into the possession of a friend – a friend with a very good eye. It came with no provenance, but it has since revealed a South Australian story. This is a tale of changing fortunes, one that spans the scope of Victorian society from servant, Cambridge scholar, muleteer, gardener and aristocrat. As with any Victorian drama, along the way there is tragedy, triumph and tension – a horrifying snake incident and an embarrassment. Above all, the house in the painting tells of colonial hope and mettle.

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The Australiana Society acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples – the First Australians – as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.