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Natural Curiosity: Unseen Art of the First Fleet

Natural Curiosity: Unseen Art of the First Fleet

ISBN 9781742234090
Publication Date
Publisher Unsw Press
Parrots and lorikeets swoop down, vivid, bright and colourful. Black swans glide through the air. Owls stare out from pages, wide-eyed. A sense of awe swept through natural history circles in eighteenth-century London when the first ships returned from Sydney with their cargo of exotic animals, birds and plants - and striking watercolour illustrations. The sudden emergence, in 2011, of a large number of these watercolour illustrations has revealed much about the early years of the colony. In Natural Curiosity, Louise Anemaat uncovers never-before-published works from the artists of the First Fleet, including convicts-turned-watercolourists Thomas Watling and John Doody, and the anonymous 'Port Jackson Painter'. She unravels the complex network of natural history collectors who spanned the globe - eagerly acquiring, copying and exchanging these artworks - from New South Wales Surgeon-General John White to passionate British collector Aylmer Bourke Lambert. 'Our link with 1788: First Fleet Art' an article by Louise Anemaat about a previously unknown collection of New South Wales natural history drawings of a now forgotten botanist.

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