Storia dell’Arte 107, Gennaio – Aprile 2004
David R. Marshall
Salvator Rosa in Tasmania: Monsù Alto and Bartolomeo Pedon at “Woolmers”
The island of Tasmania, the southernmost state of Australia, is not normally associated with collections of Italian paintings, but the English settlers of Tasmania in the early nineteenth century attempted to recreate on the other side of the world the country house society that they had left behind, and in at least one instance this extended to a small collection of ‘Grand Tour’ paintings. Woolmers Estate, at Longford, near Launceston, is a grazing property that was settled by Thomas Archer (1790-1850) in 1817. The house was built in 1819, and extended, in 1843. The property, though frequently leased to others, remained in the Archer family until the death of Thomas William Archer (1917-1994) in 1994, when it passed to the Woolmers Foundation Inc., which operates it as a tourist establishment. This continuity of ownership has meant that it still preserves a nineteenth-century collection of furnishings and paintings, including a group of eight paintings traditionally ascribed to Salvator Rosa.