William Charles Pigenuit

William Charles Piguenit (27 August 1836 – 17 July 1914) was an Australian landscape painter. Piguenit was born in Hobart, to Frederick Le Geyt Piguenit and Mary Ann née Igglesden. Frederick had been transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1830, with Frederick’s fiancee, Mary Ann, following him. They married in Hobart in 1833

William’s first artistic influences came from his mother, who set up a school for young ladies where she taught “French, music and drawing”.

In 1850 William became a draftsman with the Tasmanian Lands & Survey Department, working in particular on the Geological Survey of Tasmania.

During this period of employment Piguenit provided lithographic illustrations for, The Salmon Ponds and vicinity, New Norfolk Tasmania (Hobart Town: M.L. Henn, [1867]).

He took painting lessons from the Scottish painter Frank Dunnett but until he got a good price for a painting from Sir James Agnew, he had little success as a painter.

Piguenit left the public service in 1873 to devote his time more fully to painting and his oils and watercolours of Tasmanian landscapes soon brought favourable reviews.

He was a participant in the venture to the western part of Tasmania – as found in the book Walk to the West.

His home in Lansdowne Crescent


2 Responses to William Charles Pigenuit

  1. Rebecca says:

    This is amazing. W.C Piguenit, was my great uncle, and I knew nothing about him, or what he did.

  2. Orbit says:

    W C Piguenit had another significant connection with West Hobart. On June 28, 1836, just a two months before W C’s birth, his mother, Mary Ann Piguenit, advertised in the Colonial Times that she was moving her home and school for young ladies back to Stanwell Hall (now 166 Melville Street). Historians are conjecturing it is probable, even likely, that Piguenit was born at Stanwell Hall, rather than at Claremont House as previously thought. He certainly would have lived his early years at Stanwell Hall.
    With the addition of Piguenit, as Australia’s first Tasmanian-born landscape artist of note, the significance of Stanwell Hall and West Hobart in Australian art history is further enhanced, as the Hall was also, in 1831-32, the first home in Van Diemen’s Land of famed colonial artist John Glover. Glover’s founding contribution to Australian art was recently recognised further in the three part ABC TV series, The Art of Australia, which focussed on how art and artists helped shape Australia’s national identity.

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