View at Burrundulla, farm of George Cox, Mudgee, New South Wales1841

by Conrad Martens

Conrad Martens, a professional landscape artist, arrived in Sydney in 1835 after 18 months onboard HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin, as it explored South America. After being let go from the Beagle he hoped that the growing settlement of Sydney would prove a fertile community for commissions.

Initially Sydney’s leading pastoralists, government officials and merchants were enthusiastic patrons. His sophisticated style appealed to their interest in New South Wales being presented in the pictorial style used to depict established English landed estates.

The Coxs, whose family settled in the colony in the 1790s, were some of its largest landholders. George Cox had claimed this land at Mudgee in 1822, against fierce opposition from the local Wiradjuri people.