Aborigines hunting1858

by Thomas Balcombe

In the 1840s and 1850s Thomas Balcombe, one of Sydney’s better-known painters, made a number of paintings of Aboriginal people, which celebrated their customary lifestyle, despite the fact that this lifestyle had largely been destroyed around Sydney by European occupation and colonisation. It seems that once Aboriginal people were pushed to the limits of settlement, and less visible in Sydney itself, artists began to return them to customary life, and to celebrate those skills.

Balcombe’s work was generally received well by local reviewers, despite its often uneven execution.