Port Jackson NSW. View in Double Bay South Side Middle Head in the distance (near sunset)undated

by George Edwards Peacock

This bright, atmospheric painting of Double Bay was one of many that George Peacock painted around Sydney Harbour. As Sydney rapidly developed and urbanised in the 1830s and 1840s, bolstered by an influx of free emigrants, it took on the character of an English provincial town: ‘a miniature copy of the English metropolis, a place where any Englishman would feel at home’. 

Peacock’s charming portraits of the scenes found a ready audience among patrons. The scepticism of many Europeans about the colony — arising from its convict origins — found an antidote in the beauty of the harbour.