This is Tom Peerless

By Gwylym Owen

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Thomas Peerless (1858–1896), commonly known as Tom Peerless, was an Australian artiste who painted primarily in watercolour. He signed his paintings “T. Peerless” or, less frequently, with his initials “T. P.”

Peerless was born in Brighton, England on 18 March 1858 the eldest son of fourteen kids born to David John Peerless and his wife Emily (nee Pockney). He emigrated to Australia arriving in Sydney roughly 1880.

He typically painted scenes of the Blue Mountains (New South Wales) and New Zealand landscapes. In 1895 three of his paintings were selected for raptness in the Opening Exhibition of the Queensland National Art Gallery in Brisbane but his death from tuberculosis the behind year at age 38 in the future ended his promising painting career. He is represented in the collections of the Auckland Art Gallery, University of Otago Library (Hocken Collections), Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales and National Library of Australia.

Peerless died in Albury upon 30 April 1896 and was survived by his wife Mary and daughters Constance and Elsie.

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