Main content area

Convict artists in the time of Governor Macquarie

BACK TO ALL STORIES

Thousands of convicts arrived in Australia from 1788 until the mid nineteenth century. Many brought with them skills and talents which were used to enrich the life and economy of the new colony.


Artists and designers were among the convicted – unsurprisingly, several skilled artists were transported for forgery. Some convicts were required to use their artistic skills as assigned servants. Others, like John Eyre, could not practise their art until they had received pardons from their sentences. Perhaps the best known is Joseph Lycett for his views of Sydney.

They all used their art to record and interpret the landscape and people of the fledgling colony. Their artistic documents contribute enormously to our understanding of early nineteenth century New South Wales.

These convict artists arrived in Sydney during Governor Macquarie's rule (1810 - 1822).

Joseph Lycett

Joseph Lycett was born in Staffordshire in around 1774 and worked as a professional portrait and miniature painter.  Like fellow convict Francis Greenway, Lycett was convicted of forgery and transported to Australia for a term of fourteen years.

In 1815, a year after he arrived in Sydney, he was again convicted of forging bank notes. As punishment, Lycett was sent to the secondary penal colony of Newcastle where he began work as a legitimate artist and designer. In Newcastle, Lycett attracted the patronage of the commandant, Major James Wallis, who had also commanded the General Hewitt – the ship on which Lycett was transported. Under Wallis, Lycett was involved in designing Christ Church, Newcastle, and painting its altar piece. Wallis’ influence earned Lycett a conditional pardon, and he carved out a successful career, primarily as a landscape painter.

About this item: 

Discovered by curator John McPhee in 2006 during research for the exhibition Joseph Lycett: convict artist, this painting is (in 2007) the only known artwork by Lycett before he was transported to Australia. It was probably painted while Lycett awaited trial for forgery in Shrewsbury Gaol. For further information, see Joseph Lycett : convict artist / John McPhee editor, Sydney : Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, c2006.; and McPhee, J. "Joseph Lycett's Durham, 1811", Australiana, Feb 2006
 

Durham
1811
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a2332001
Sydney from the North Shore
c. 1817
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a928333
About this item: 

The drawing is pasted onto a sheet, the edges of which are painted to emulate a coloured mount.
The drawing is similar to another smaller watercolour in the Dixson Galleries collection (DG V1/78) and to another in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Library, London (see copy at FM2/1534). All are similar to the published plate, "Sydney, the capital of New South Wales" in Lycett's "Views in Australia ...", London, 1824 (M.L. ref. F980.1/L, pl.2). The Mitchell Library and the London copy however, do not include the spire of St James' Church.

North View of Sydney, New South Wales
c. 1820
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a128863
About this item: 

Titled on reverse in pencil in a contemporary hand. Also initialled & dated on reverse "J. L. delt. Novr 2nd 1822"
Above this is a similar inscription in pencil with the date, "Nov. 17th 1822"

General Note

This drawing is accompanied by a handwritten label, "View of Sydney / By J. Lycett / Lycett's Views of Sydney, were sent to / Earl Bathurst, with letter dated / 28th Febuary [i.e. February] 1820". 
An earlier watercolour, though similar in appearance but larger in size, is titled "North View of Sydney, New South Wales" and signed and dated, "J.L. Delind. 1820" (see V1/1820/5). It was received in the Library in 1979 and does not show the spire of St. James Church. Both drawings are similar to Lycett's published plate in his "Views in Australia ... London, 1824 (M.L. ref. F980.1/L, pl.2) though the smaller is closer.
Formerly located at DG 43.

North View of Sydney New South Wales / taken from the North Shore / ... 1822 / J. L. delt.
1822
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a928339
About this item: 


This watercolour was painted in England after Lycett's return from Australia. The bridge over the Tank Stream is lost in large buildings.

A similar though earlier view, "North View of Sydney New South Wales, 1822 / J. Lycett" is located at Dixson Galleries collection (DG V1/11).

[Sydney from the North Shore]
1827
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a928340
About this item: 

The drawing is very similar to, and may be the original watercolour drawing for, Lycett's published plate, "Distant view of Sydney, from the Light House ..." in his "Views in Australia ... London, 1824 (M.L. ref. F980.1/L, pl.3). The most significant difference is that Fort Macquarie is depicted as completed in the published view whilst only half-built in the drawing.

East View of Sydney, / New South Wales. 1819 / taken from the Macquarie Tower
1819
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a128860
Sydney from Surry Hills
1819
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a928334
[Sydney from the Parramatta Road]
1819
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a928324
About this item: 

Formerly attributed to John William Lewin and titled, "Parramatta 1819".
Another watercolour, received by the Library in 1979, is very similar but is titled, "South view ... from the Great Western Road near the Turnpike houses (V1B/Parr/23). The latter is signed and dated, "J L... 1820", and differs in that the trees framing the view are omitted. These watercolours and are similar to Lycett's published plate, "Paramatta [i.e. Parramatta] .." in his "Views in Australia or New South Wales, and Van Diemen's Land delineated in fifty views with descriptive letterpress", London, Souter, 1824 (M.L. F980.1/L).

West view of Parramatta
1819
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a928035
About this item: 

Another watercolour view of Parramatta by J. Lycett, "West view of Parramatta" is located at ML 53 (Mitchell Library). These watercolours are similar to Lycett's published plate, "Paramatta [i.e. Parramatta] .." in his "Views in Australia or New South Wales, and Van Diemen's Land delineated in fifty views with descriptive letterpress", London, Souter, 1824 (M.L. F980.1/L).

South View of Parramatta, New South Wales / from the Great Western Road near Turnpike house
1820
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a128864
About this item: 

Although titled as Government House, it is unlikely to be this official residence. Efforts to identify the house have been inconclusive.

Govemnt [i.e. Government] House, Parramatta, 1819
1819
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a928163
About this item: 

itled and dated in ink on reverse, at lower right, "Govemnt House / Sydney / John Watts / ADC / March 1819"
Across centre back in pencil (almost illegible), "With View of Government House from the Cove"

Govemt [i.e. Government] House, Sydney
1819
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a928164
View of the Heads / at the Entrance to Port Jackson. / New South Wales
1824
Joseph Lycett
DL F82/16 pl.9
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a049011u
About this item: 

This is a plate from Lycett's Views in Australia, 1824-5

Scene up the River Huon. Van Diemen's Land
1 May 1825
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a928337
About this item: 

For notes on the Library's copies of these engravings see ML MSS Aw 112
It is not possible to conclusively determine the artist of the views. Although Wallis claims to have made the original drawings in the imprint of many of the engravings, the six large plates (PXD 373/1-7) bear strong simialarities to the style of Joseph Lycett who is known to have worked for Wallis while they were both at Newcastle. The six small plates are less stylistically distinctive, and in inscriptions on the reverse of PXD 373/10 & 19 Wallis is said to be the artist of the original drawings. It is possible that Lycett was responsible for the six large plates and Wallis the six small. For references to the attribution question see Lycett and Wallis entries in Joan Kerr, Dictionary of Australian artists 1770-1870, 1992 : REF 1/Q709.94/87 Mitchell Library

Sydney from Bennelongs Point. New South Wales
1818
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a1272005
A View of the Cove and Part of Sydney. New South Wales. Taken from Dawe's Battery, c.1818, "Engrav'd by W. Preston from an Original Drawing by Cap.t Wallis. 46th Reg't.
Digital ID: 
a1272002
View collection item detail

Samples of Lycett’s work were acquired by Governor Macquarie and sent to Lord Bathurst, Secretary of State for the Colonies, in England. Views in Australia, a publication of engraved landscapes based on Lycett’s work, was published in London between 1824 and 1825. It is thought that Lycett may be responsible for some of the painted panels on two wooden collector’s chests in the State Library’s collection. One of these is believed to have belonged to the Macquarie family. Certainly some of the panels are based on engraved views in Wallis’ 1821 publication, An historical account of the Colony of New South Wales. Wallis himself claimed to be artist of many of the original works on which the engravings are based, but some bear striking resemblance to Lycett’s work and are now credited to him. The engravings were the work of convict Walter Preston.

Joseph Lycett left the colony for England in 1822. What happened to him when he returned to England is unconfirmed, however a handwritten note in one of the Mitchell Library copies of Views in Australia claims that he was arrested again for forgery. He then allegedy tried to commit suicide by slashing his throat and later died when he reopened the wound in hospital. This is likely to have occurred sometime between 1825 and 1828.

Richard Read Senior
(c 1765 - 1829)

Richard Read Senior was born in London. Not much is known of his life until 1812 when he was sentenced to 14 years’ transportation. He arrived in Sydney in October 1813 and was granted a ticket-of-leave, (ie. he was released on parole), eight weeks later.

In 1814 Read opened one of Australia’s first drawing schools. As well as offering lessons, he undertook commissioned artworks, specialising in portraits and miniatures. He also sold paintings, drawings and embroidery designs. Read’s skill as a portrait painter earned him the patronage of many of the colony’s notable citizens, including Governor and Mrs Macquarie.

Read continued his artistic career until the late 1820s. He may have left the colony at the end of his sentence. There is no record of his death, but it probably occurred in about 1829.

Confusingly, another Richard Read came free to Sydney in 1819 and also worked as a portrait painter. Calling himself Read Junior, this man may have been the older Read’s estranged son.

About this item: 

The label is damaged and difficult to read.
Identified after comparison with other portraits of Lachlan Macquarie, especially [Governor Lachlan Macquarie], 1822 / Read Snr (ML 36).

Lachlan Macquarie, 1822 painted by Richard Read Snr (1765-1827?)
1822
Digital ID: 
a128361
View collection item detail
About this item: 

Identified as Lachlan Macquarie Junior by Malcolm Ellis in his "Lachlan Macquarie : his life, adventures, and times"

Lachlan Macquarie Junior, ca.1818 / painted by Richard Read Snr (1765-1827?)
1818
Digital ID: 
a1528255
View collection item detail
Mrs [Elizabeth] Marsden wife of Rev. S. Marsden / painting by Read Senr,(1765-1827?) 1821
1821
Digital ID: 
a128728
View collection item detail
About this item: 

There appears to have been a title at lower centre on mount that has been lost. The only decipherable letters, probably at the end of the title, read "Denom."
On the back at centre left in ink was the text, "South Head" that has subsequently been lost in restoration. Obscured by mount at lower left is the text, "[Entran]ce to Port Jackson, New South Wales".
The watercolour is dated from the building of the Macquarie Lighthouse and Commissioner Bigge's departure from NSW in 1821

View of the Heads, Port Jackson, ca. 1817-1826] /painted by Richard Read, Snr (1765-1827?)
ca. 1817-1821
Digital ID: 
a128859
View collection item detail
About this item: 

This watercolour was received with another drawing by R. Read Senior (V1/1820/4). Although the drawings are on different scales, together they form a view similar to the aquatint published with J. Atkinson's, "An account of the state of agriculture ..." London, 1826 (ML ref. 630.991/1A1). 
For notes on this and other copies of the same view, see PXn 599.

Continuation of View from Bunkers hill includeing daws'es battery Fort Lachlan & South head light house, 1820 / painting by Richard. Read Snr (1765-1827?) View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a128858
View of Port Jackson & part of the town of Sydney, ca.1820s / drawn by Richard Read Senior (1765-1827?)
Digital ID: 
a928706
View collection item detail
About this item: 

One half of a set that forms a panorama similar to the aquatint published with J. Atkinson's 'An account of the state of agriculture...' London, 1826 (ML ref 630.994/1A1) London, 1826. The set differs from the aquatint in some details, the drawings do not include St. James Church (completed in 1819) nor all the towers on Fort Macquarie (completed in 1819). W. Moore in his 'The story of Australian art' Sydney 1934 states that the originals for the aquatint were by R.Read senior and are now held in the National Library of Australia. For further notes on this and other versions of the same view see PXn 599.

[Dawes Point Battery, 1821 / attributed to Richard Read Senior [Dawes Point Battery, 1821 / attributed to Richard Read Senior (1765-1827?] View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a1528397
About this item: 

Unsigned, undated, untitled. Title devised by cataloguer. 
One half of a set that forms a panorama similar to the aquatint published with J. Atkinson's 'An account of the state of agriculture ..' London, 1826 (ML ref 630.994/1A1) London, 1826. The set differs from the aquatint in some details, the drawings do not include St. James Church (completed in 1819) nor all the towers on Fort Macquarie (completed in 1819). W. Moore in his 'The story of Australian art' Sydney 1934 states that the originals for the aquatint were by R.Read senior and are now held in the National Library of Australia. For further notes on this and other versions of the same view see PXn 599.
See DG XV1/23 for other drawing in set.

[Sydney from Dawes Point]
1821
Richard Read
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a1528398
About this item: 

Possibly by Read or his son, also called Richard (1796-1862) 
Identity of artist is unclear. The size & composition of the drawing is similar to signed works by Richard Read Junior (see "Rock Lily of New South Wales" at ML 1341) but the inscriptions on the reverse of the drawing are more appropriate to his father Richard Read Senior (c. 1765-?), who was transported for fourteen years for knowingly possessing forged notes. He arrived in the colony in 1813

[King Parrot, Eastern Rosella and Musk lorikeet] : watercolour of three birds
c. 1820
Richard Read
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a2330001
About this item: 

Probably South Island Thrush or Piopio (turnagra capensis). Forster procured it at both Dusky Sound & Queen Charlotte Sound in 1773 (On Cook's second voyage, George Forster was responsible for drawing the birds while his father, Johann Reinhold Forster provided descriptions and classified them)

Thick billd [i.e. billed] thrush, inhabits New Zealand, Dusky Bay & Queen Charlotte Sound, called Golobeoo
1820
Richard Read Senior
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a1528519

John Eyre
(1771 - unknown)

Eyre was born in Coventry, England,in 1799 he was sentenced to seven years’ transportation for housebreaking and arrived in Sydney in 1801. After three years in the colony, he received a conditional pardon and began work as an artist soon afterwards. Eyre created naval charts for Governor Bligh and was also employed in more mundane artistic tasks, including painting numbers on the sides of buildings and painting offices.

Eyre is probably best remembered for his drawings and watercolours of topographical views around Sydney. Many of these were used in publications such as Absalom West’s Views in New South Wales and David Mann's The Present Picture of New South Wales (London, 1811). John Eyre left Sydney in 1812 for Europe. It is not known where or when he died.

[View of Sydney from the West side of the Cove]
1806
John Eyre
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a1528412
New South Wales. View of Sydney, from the West Side of the Cove. No.1
1810
John Eyre
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a928720
New South Wales. View of Sydney, from the West Side of the Cove. No.2
1810
John Eyre
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a1528169
"[First Government House, Sydney], c. 1807, by John Eyre
Digital ID: 
a128359
View collection item detail
A view of Sydney on Norfolk Island, ca. 1805, by John Eyre
Digital ID: 
a1528415
View collection item detail
"A view of Queenborough on Norfolk Island, 1804, by I. Eyre [J. Eyre]
Digital ID: 
a928732
View collection item detail
[A view of Queenborough on Norfolk Island], 1804?, attributed to John Eyre
Digital ID: 
a1528414
View collection item detail
[Blue-faced honeyeater] by John Eyre
ca.1808
Digital ID: 
a1528413
View collection item detail

Richard Browne
(1771-1824)

Browne was born in Dublin, sentenced to transportation in 1810 and arrived in Sydney in 1811 on the Providence. Within a few months of arriving, he reoffended and was removed to the secondary penal colony of Newcastle. In Newcastle, Browne came into contact with Lieutenant Thomas Skottowe, the commandant of Newcastle from 1811-1814. Skottowe was interested in natural history and  commissioned Browne to create drawings of his collections to illustrate a manuscript entitled, Select Specimens From Nature of the / Birds Animals &c &c of New South Wales, Collected and Arranged by Thomas Skottowe Esqr. The Drawings By T.R. Browne. N.S.W. Newcastle New South Wales 1813. Browne’s illustrations of insects are particularly fine.

Until 1817, many of Browne’s works are signed with an extra initial, usually J, I or T. Like Joseph Lycett, Browne contributed many of the original watercolours for Major James Wallis' An historical account of the Colony of New South Wales which were engraved by Philip Slaeger (Sligo) and Walter Preston.

After 1817, when he gained his freedom, Browne returned to Sydney. His illustrations from this period concentrate on the Indigenous peoples of the Sydney area. Several of these are included in Collection of portraits, predominantly of Aborigines of New South Wales and Tasmania, ca. 1817-1849. He died in Sydney.

About this item: 

Thomas Skottowe of the 73 (Highland) Regiment of Foot was Commandant of the Newcastle penal settlement from 1811 to 1814. While in Newcastle, Skottowe organised the collection and drawing of specimens for this manuscript. He was also was responsible for their arrangement and wrote the accompanying text. Reference : The Skottowe manuscript : Thomas Skottowe's select specimens from nature of the birds, animals, &c. &c. of New South Wales / ed. with an introductory essay, by T. Bonyhady & J. Calaby ; foreword by Sir D. Attenborough. Sydney : David Ell Press : Hordern House, 1988.

Richard Browne, watercolour painter and natural history artist, was transported to New South Wales after being convicted in Dublin in 1810. He served the majority of his seven-year sentence in Newcastle. Browne prepared illustrations for Skottowe's manuscript. -- Reference: Dictionary of Australian artists / Joan Kerr, editor. [Sydney] : Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney, 1984

"Mamura Superba [lyrebird] from Select Specimens From Nature of the / Birds Animals &c &c of New South Wales, Collected and Arranged by Thomas Skottowe Esqr. The Drawings By T.R. Browne.
1813
Digital ID: 
a642006
View collection item detail
About this item: 

Thomas Skottowe of the 73 (Highland) Regiment of Foot was Commandant of the Newcastle penal settlement from 1811 to 1814. While in Newcastle, Skottowe organised the collection and drawing of specimens for this manuscript. He was also was responsible for their arrangement and wrote the accompanying text. Reference : The Skottowe manuscript : Thomas Skottowe's select specimens from nature of the birds, animals, &c. &c. of New South Wales / ed. with an introductory essay, by T. Bonyhady & J. Calaby ; foreword by Sir D. Attenborough. Sydney : David Ell Press : Hordern House, 1988.

Richard Browne, watercolour painter and natural history artist, was transported to New South Wales after being convicted in Dublin in 1810. He served the majority of his seven-year sentence in Newcastle. Browne prepared illustrations for Skottowe's manuscript. -- Reference: Dictionary of Australian artists / Joan Kerr, editor. [Sydney] : Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney, 1984

"Owl [tawny frogmouth] from Select Specimens From Nature of the / Birds Animals &c &c of New South Wales, Collected and Arranged by Thomas Skottowe Esqr. The Drawings By T.R. Browne
1813
Digital ID: 
a642024
View collection item detail
About this item: 

Thomas Skottowe of the 73 (Highland) Regiment of Foot was Commandant of the Newcastle penal settlement from 1811 to 1814. While in Newcastle, Skottowe organised the collection and drawing of specimens for this manuscript. He was also was responsible for their arrangement and wrote the accompanying text. Reference : The Skottowe manuscript : Thomas Skottowe's select specimens from nature of the birds, animals, &c. &c. of New South Wales / ed. with an introductory essay, by T. Bonyhady & J. Calaby ; foreword by Sir D. Attenborough. Sydney : David Ell Press : Hordern House, 1988.

Richard Browne, watercolour painter and natural history artist, was transported to New South Wales after being convicted in Dublin in 1810. He served the majority of his seven-year sentence in Newcastle. Browne prepared illustrations for Skottowe's manuscript. -- Reference: Dictionary of Australian artists / Joan Kerr, editor. [Sydney] : Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney, 1984

Native Dog [dingo] from Select Specimens From Nature of the / Birds Animals &c &c of New South Wales, Collected and Arranged by Thomas Skottowe Esqr. The Drawings By T.R. Browne.
1813
Digital ID: 
a642035
View collection item detail
About this item: 

Thomas Skottowe of the 73 (Highland) Regiment of Foot was Commandant of the Newcastle penal settlement from 1811 to 1814. While in Newcastle, Skottowe organised the collection and drawing of specimens for this manuscript. He was also was responsible for their arrangement and wrote the accompanying text. Reference : The Skottowe manuscript : Thomas Skottowe's select specimens from nature of the birds, animals, &c. &c. of New South Wales / ed. with an introductory essay, by T. Bonyhady & J. Calaby ; foreword by Sir D. Attenborough. Sydney : David Ell Press : Hordern House, 1988.

Richard Browne, watercolour painter and natural history artist, was transported to New South Wales after being convicted in Dublin in 1810. He served the majority of his seven-year sentence in Newcastle. Browne prepared illustrations for Skottowe's manuscript. -- Reference: Dictionary of Australian artists / Joan Kerr, editor. [Sydney] : Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney, 1984

Barracouta (no.12); Leopard Shark (no.13) [longtom; banded wobbegong] from Select Specimens From Nature of the / Birds Animals &c &c of New South Wales, Collected and Arranged by Thomas Skottowe Esqr. The Drawings By T.R. Browne.
1813
Digital ID: 
a642046
View collection item detail
About this item: 

Thomas Skottowe of the 73 (Highland) Regiment of Foot was Commandant of the Newcastle penal settlement from 1811 to 1814. While in Newcastle, Skottowe organised the collection and drawing of specimens for this manuscript. He was also was responsible for their arrangement and wrote the accompanying text. Reference : The Skottowe manuscript : Thomas Skottowe's select specimens from nature of the birds, animals, &c. &c. of New South Wales / ed. with an introductory essay, by T. Bonyhady & J. Calaby ; foreword by Sir D. Attenborough. Sydney : David Ell Press : Hordern House, 1988.

Richard Browne, watercolour painter and natural history artist, was transported to New South Wales after being convicted in Dublin in 1810. He served the majority of his seven-year sentence in Newcastle. Browne prepared illustrations for Skottowe's manuscript. -- Reference: Dictionary of Australian artists / Joan Kerr, editor. [Sydney] : Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney, 1984

Insects from Select Specimens From Nature of the / Birds Animals &c &c of New South Wales, Collected and Arranged by Thomas Skottowe Esqr. The Drawings By T.R. Browne.
1813
Digital ID: 
a642051
View collection item detail
About this item: 

Thomas Skottowe of the 73 (Highland) Regiment of Foot was Commandant of the Newcastle penal settlement from 1811 to 1814. While in Newcastle, Skottowe organised the collection and drawing of specimens for this manuscript. He was also was responsible for their arrangement and wrote the accompanying text. Reference : The Skottowe manuscript : Thomas Skottowe's select specimens from nature of the birds, animals, &c. &c. of New South Wales / ed. with an introductory essay, by T. Bonyhady & J. Calaby ; foreword by Sir D. Attenborough. Sydney : David Ell Press : Hordern House, 1988.

Richard Browne, watercolour painter and natural history artist, was transported to New South Wales after being convicted in Dublin in 1810. He served the majority of his seven-year sentence in Newcastle. Browne prepared illustrations for Skottowe's manuscript. -- Reference: Dictionary of Australian artists / Joan Kerr, editor. [Sydney] : Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney, 1984

Native Arms from Select Specimens From Nature of the / Birds Animals &c &c of New South Wales, Collected and Arranged by Thomas Skottowe Esqr. The Drawings By T.R. Browne
1813
Digital ID: 
a642055
View collection item detail
"Wife, [ca.1820] by R. Browne from [Collection of portraits, predominantly of Aborigines of New South Wales and Tasmania, ca. 1817-1849]
1813
Digital ID: 
a1114001
View collection item detail
Broken Bay Jemmy, N.S.W., 1817 by R. Browne from Collection of portraits, predominantly of Aborigines of New South Wales and Tasmania, ca. 1817-1849
Digital ID: 
a1114009
View collection item detail
About this item: 

`A variant of this subject showing the hunter first with his weapon and then presenting the fish to his wife was sold at Sotheby's, Sydney on 24th October 1985, Lot 80' -- Sotheby's Australia Catalogue 29 Oct 87.

Natives returned from fishing, 1820, by R.Browne View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a1528423

Walter Preston (c 1777-?)  and Philip Slaeger

Preston was convicted of highway robbery in London. His death sentence was commuted to fourteen years’ transportation and he was assigned to printer Absalom West upon arrival in Sydney in 1812. Like Joseph Lycett, Preston was sent to the penal colony of Newcastle for a crime committed in Sydney and came under the influence of Major James Wallis. In 1819, Preston engraved the plates for Wallis' An historical account of the Colony of New South Wales. He received an absolute pardon in the same year.

Philip Slaeger (aka Sligo) was sentenced to seven years transportation at Maidstone in Kent. He arrived in Sydney in 1807 and worked as an assigned servant until the end of his sentence in 1812. His first work as an engraver also appeared in 1812 – two views of Sydney from Bennelong Point, engraved onto copper plate after paintings by John Eyre.

In Sydney, both Preston and Slaeger were employed by Absalom West to engrave the copper plates for West’s Views in New South Wales which featured large prints of views engraved from originals by John Eyre. West’s views were issued in Sydney in 1813 and cost three pounds.

About this item: 

For notes on the Library's copies of these engravings see ML MSS Aw 112
It is not possible to conclusively determine the artist of the views. Although Wallis claims to have made the original drawings in the imprint of many of the engravings, the six large plates (PXD 373/1-7) bear strong simialarities to the style of Joseph Lycett who is known to have worked for Wallis while they were both at Newcastle. The six small plates are less stylistically distinctive, and in inscriptions on the reverse of PXD 373/10 & 19 Wallis is said to be the artist of the original drawings. It is possible that Lycett was responsible for the six large plates and Wallis the six small. For references to the attribution question see Lycett and Wallis entries in Joan Kerr, Dictionary of Australian artists 1770-1870, 1992 : REF 1/Q709.94/87 Mitchell Library

Sydney from Bennelongs Point. New South Wales
1818
Joseph Lycett
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a1272005
A View of the Cove and Part of Sydney. New South Wales. Taken from Dawe's Battery, c.1818, "Engrav'd by W. Preston from an Original Drawing by Cap.t Wallis. 46th Reg't.
Digital ID: 
a1272002
View collection item detail
Corrobborree / Or Dance of the Natives of New South Wales. / New Holland, c. 1818. by "W. Preston. Sculp"
Digital ID: 
a1272007
View collection item detail
Kangaroos, / of / New South Wales. "View from Seven-Mile Hill near Newcastle. N.S.W", c. 1818, engraved by Walter Preston
Digital ID: 
a1272009
View collection item detail
Black Swans. / of / New South Wales."View on Reed's Mistake River. N.S.W", c.1818 engraved by Walter Preston
Digital ID: 
a1272008
View collection item detail
A north east view of the town of Sydney, the cappital [sic] of New South Wales. Taken from the west side of Benne Long's Point, 1812, engraved by P. Slaeger, Sydney, Published by A. West.
Digital ID: 
a128466
View collection item detail
An easterly view of the town of Sydney, the cappital [sic] of New South Wales. Taken from the west side of Benne Long's Point, 1812, engraved by P. Slaeger Sydney, Published by A. West.
Digital ID: 
a128468
View collection item detail
"A view of CAMPBELL & Co. Mercantile House Sydney in New South Wales ,c.1813, engraved by P. Slaeger, from Landscape views of Sydney, Newcastle, Parramatta, and Windsor, drawn by J. Eyre, P. Slager, I. Brown, for A. West's Views of New South Wales
Digital ID: 
a1474024
View collection item detail
The Blue Mountain Pheasant of New South Wales, and The FUNERAL PROCESSION of BAGGARRA a Native of New South Wales, c.1813, engraved by P. Slaeger, from Landscape views of Sydney, Newcastle, Parramatta, and Windsor, drawn by J. Eyre, P. Slager, I. Brown
Digital ID: 
a1474027
View collection item detail

This story has been developed with the support of the State Library of NSW Foundation.

We would like to acknowledge the generosity of the Macquarie Group Foundation.