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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Mary Ware

c. 1854
Robert Dowling

oil on canvas on board (support: 34.0 cm x 29.0 cm)

Jeremiah and Mary Ware were close friends of artist Robert Dowling’s father, the Reverend Henry Dowling, a Baptist minister who emigrated to Van Diemen’s Land in 1834 (some of his children having done so several years earlier). The Wares had been members of Dowling’s congregation in London, and Dowling conducted Tasmania’s first Baptist service at the Ware’s house in Hobart in 1834. Dowling officiated at the marriages of a number of the Ware’s children, and at Jeremiah Ware’s second wedding in Launceston in 1860. It was through these social and church connections that Robert Dowling secured portrait commissions early on in his career as an artist. These two portraits, for example, were commissioned by Jeremiah and Mary Ware around the time that some of their sons left for the Western District of Victoria to found their own pastoral enterprises. Jeremiah George Ware (1818–1859), the eldest of the Ware’s children, eventually became a major landholder in the districts of Colac and Camperdown, acquiring independently or in partnership with his brothers, Joseph and John, properties such as Koort-Koort-Nong, Minjah, Yalla-y-Poora and Jellalabad. The association with the Wares and other landowners in Victoria also resulted in some of Robert Dowling’s most significant works.

Purchased with funds provided by Mary Isabel Murphy and Rosalind Blair Murphy 2014

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Robert Dowling (age 27 in 1854)

Mary Ware (age 65 in 1854)

Supported by

Mary I. Murphy (4 portraits supported)

Rosalind B. Murphy (2 portraits supported)

Related portraits

1. Jeremiah Ware, c. 1854. All Robert Dowling.
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency