Lord Viscount Sydney…. SYDNEY, John after Gilbert STUART YOUNG.

Lord Viscount Sydney…

London: n.d., circa 1790.

Mezzotint engraving, 440 x 310 mm; mounted.

The city of Sydney bears his name

A fine and fresh impression: Lord Sydney, after the official portrait by Gilbert Stuart, the celebrated American portraitist – the "father of American portraiture" – who worked in England from 1775 until the late 1780s. A protégé of Benjamin West, with whom he studied for six years, he reached such success in England that at one point only Reynolds and Gainsborough were getting higher prices.

A fine and fresh impression: Lord Sydney, after the official portrait by Gilbert Stuart, the celebrated American portraitist – the "father of American portraiture" – who worked in England from 1775 until the late 1780s. A protégé of Benjamin West, with whom he studied for six years, he reached such success in England that at one point only Reynolds and Gainsborough were getting higher prices.

Sydney, as Home Secretary in Pitt's government, was given the task of devising a plan for settling convicts at Botany Bay, and it was his address to the Commissioners of the Treasury in August 1786 which provided the detailed plan for the establishment of the colony, with details of the number of convicts and transports, the marines, disciplinary measures, supplies and livestock, and the foundations of government itself. Sydney was particularly inspired by his interviews with James Matra, the seaman of American origin who sailed on Cook's first voyage (at that time named Magra). Matra proposed settling American loyalists in New South Wales; however, by the time of Sydney's proposal to the treasury the loyalists had been dropped from the project and Botany Bay was solely intended as a penal colony. When Phillip finally decided to establish the settlement at Port Jackson, rather than Botany Bay, he paid the Home Secretary the compliment of naming Sydney after him.

This fine portrait is accompanied by a folio-sized engraved genealogical sheet entitled "A Genealogical Table of the Noble Family of Townshend, Baron Sydney".

Nan Kivell and Spence, p. 300 (and reproduced, p. 317).

Price (AUD): $4,800.00

US$3,728.87   Other currencies

Ref: #2708032