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Thomas Bock


Super Moderator
Staff member
Hailing from Sutton Coldfield, wikipedia gives the following information:
Thomas Bock (1790 – 19 March 1855), was an Australian artist.[1]

Bock was born in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England.[1] Bock was an engraver in Birmingham; in 1817 he was awarded the silver medal by the Society of Arts and Commerce for an engraving of a portrait.

In April 1823 Bock was found guilty at the Warwick Assizes of administering drugs to a young woman and was transported to Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) as a convict. Bock was set to work preparing plates for banknotes, and then to official assignments making portraits of recently executed criminals and of Tasmanian Aborigines.[1] Bock was one of the exhibitors at the first major art exhibition, in Hobart. His official work produced private commissions, and by the time of his death in Hobart, Tasmania, he was a successful portraitist specialising in miniatures. Bock was one of the most highly skilled of the early convict artists. Much of his apparently voluminous output remains lost, or at least unidentified, but he can be credited with two Australian "firsts": he left behind a small body of nude studies, rare in early colonial art; and he was one of the first in the colonies to experiment with photography.
The Ikon gallery is having the first UK exhibition of his paintings, opening on 6th December till 11th March.
One of his pictures is below

thomas bock paintuing.jpg


Super Moderator
Staff member
A very unusual life story Mike. So he must have lived in this country for about 30 years before being transported, giving him plenty of time to produce work here (and he must have been regarded as a reasonably skilled artist if he was put to work painting when he reached Tasmania). So it makes you wonder if there are pieces of his work languishing in some cupboard somewhere in this country. We may never know. Viv.