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Port Macquarie, NSWc 1840

by Joseph Backler

Joseph Backler arrived in Sydney as a convict in 1832, and within a year he was sent to Port Macquarie penal settlement in 1833 because of poor behaviour. While in Port Macquarie he was commissioned to make several views of the settlement. At least four of these have survived — all taken from the northern side of the Hastings River.

Across the series of paintings, three of which are in the Library’s collection, the depiction of the buildings remains largely the same. The foreground details vary to show people engaged in different activities — fishermen pull in their nets, and convicts flee from pursuers. In this painting, a gentleman is seen on horseback.