# 1733

WRIGHT, Thomas, 1830-1881 (artist)

[PHOTOGRAPH] Oil painting of a scene on the Waipunga River, New Zealand

$80.00 AUD

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Circa 1870. Albumen print photograph (220 x 280 mm) of an oil painting, laid down on original album page (ink stains within the negative, edges of the page stained), signature appears on painting at lower left: T. Wright. Photographer unknown.

The painting has been identified as Scene on the Waipunga River, New Zealand, by Thomas Wright, which is held in the collection of the Bendigo Art Gallery. (Identification courtesy of Tansy Curtin, Senior Curator, Bendigo Art Gallery).  

The English-born painter and photographer Thomas Wright (1830-1881) arrived in Melbourne in 1852 and worked professionally as a landscape and portrait painter. As early as 1852 he had won a gold medal at the Victorian Industrial Exhibition for his work View on the River Plenty. He later spent some time prospecting for gold at Bendigo, and by the early 1860s he was painting local scenes in that region, some of which became published as lithographs. In the mid 1860s he was based in Melbourne once again, employed as drawing master at Wesley College. In 1865 he visited New Zealand, and exhibited a number of oil paintings of New Zealand subjects at the 1866 Intercolonial Exhibition. Wright completed a series of large scale allegorical paintings in honour of the visit of Prince Alfred in 1867. From 1867-72 he is also listed as a professional photographer with a studio in Bourke Street. It seems reasonable to suggest that Wright himself may have produced this carte de visite of his own oil painting.