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Port Jackson NSW. The Floating Light — (Morning)1846

by George Edwards Peacock

In this unusual and sparse view of Sydney Harbour, George Peacock depicts the buoy and manned light vessel, the Rose, which marked the treacherous Sow and Pigs Reef, inside the Heads off Watsons Bay. The painting allows Peacock to display his knowledge of Dutch seventeenth-century maritime artists, such as Aelbert Cuyp, by modelling his composition on their work.

The morning stillness of the harbour is beautifully captured and reflects the artist’s consistent observations of the impact of weather events on a landscape. Although Peacock’s profession was law, he clearly had significant training as an artist.