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State Library of NSW
Dr James Mitchell1854
Marshall Claxton, a Royal Academy of London-trained artist, arrived in Sydney in 1850, hoping to find new markets for his faltering career. He was greeted with enthusiasm by critics who anticipated that his influence would encourage Sydneysiders to engage in ‘higher pursuits than merchandise and squatting’. During his brief time in Sydney enjoyed the patronage of many leading families.
Dr James Mitchell was a prominent medico and businessman. The collections of his son, David Scott Mitchell, were the foundations of the Mitchell Library.
The painting’s frame was made in Sydney by Edwin Baldwin and won a special prize in an 1854 exhibition at the Australian Museum.