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Sydney Headsc 1850

by Unknown artist

This painting, of an unidentified United States brig entering Sydney Heads, could depict USS Brig Porpoise which arrived in Sydney on 26 December 1853. The ship was part of the outbound passage of the US North Pacific expedition. However, if it is the Porpoise, it has not been accurately recorded by the artist.

The Library holds four paintings, all titled in brush point on the canvas in a similar hand. To title a painting on its surface was an unusual practice, and certainly not something that professional artists, like Conrad Martens or George Peacock, did. It is likely that these paintings were cheaper works, mass produced for a tourist market eager for popular images of Sydney.