Rowan, Ellis (1848-1922; Australian)
Flower painting: Pandorea jasminoides and Clematis aristata (c.1887)
Watercolour, 74.8 x 53.1 cm (image), 76.2 x 54.4 cm (sheet)
Purchased, 1890
National Gallery of Victoria (1995.325)

Two watercolours by Rowan, both titled “Flower painting,” are catalogued in NGV 1894 and 1905, each work listed as bought in Melbourne in 1890, for £52/10, and measuring 30 x 21 inches; see also * Rowan Flower painting {1890} Loc? [WT]. Presumably, two separate works were involved, but only one is now held in the NGV collection (details and reproduction as shown here).

For discussion of debates in the 1880s regarding the relative merits of Rowan’s works and the emerging landscape style of Tom Roberts and his contemporaries, see linked entry on Rowan.


Not listed in AR 1890; NGV 1894, pp.44 (II.Stawell Gallery, no.4; noting that the artist had been “awarded medals at several Exhibitions” for her paintings of Australian flowers) or 45 (II.Stawell Gallery, no.11); NGV 1905, pp.43 (II.Stawell Gallery, no.22) or 44 (II.Stawell Gallery, no.25) [£52/10] 

For this work, see also Leigh Astbury, Sunlight and Shadow: Australian Impressionist Painters 1880-1900, Sydney: Bay Books, 1989, pp.156-7 and pl.115; and Crombie, Flagship (2002), p.25