Mr. Barlow's Magnicent Exhibition Hobart Town, Van Dieman's Land, Sydney, New South Wales Painted on the Spot by the Proprietor & Assistants at an Immense Expense. Is now open at 33, Red Lion Square, Holborn. Edward BARLOW.
Mr. Barlow's Magnicent Exhibition Hobart Town, Van Dieman's Land, Sydney, New South Wales Painted on the Spot by the Proprietor & Assistants at an Immense Expense. Is now open at 33, Red Lion Square, Holborn.

Mr. Barlow's Magnicent Exhibition Hobart Town, Van Dieman's Land…
Mr. Barlow's Magnicent Exhibition Hobart Town, Van Dieman's Land, Sydney, New South Wales Painted on the Spot by the Proprietor & Assistants at an Immense Expense. Is now open at 33, Red Lion Square, Holborn.

London: 1841.

Printed hand-bill, 190 x 125 mm.

Australian panorama on show in London

A charming and very rare survival, advertising one of the earliest Australian panoramas to be shown in London. The work, by Edward Barlow but borrowing heavily from the Tasmanian Thomas Peck, was based on the contraption invented by the Frenchman Thiodon, who used mechanical devices, models, and lighting to create a sort of motion picture or "mechanical theatre". A smash wherever it was promoted, Barlow had some success in Sydney with the show, which must have encouraged him to take it to London. Such handbills, the most fugitive of printed history, are almost unrecorded, and we do not know of another example relating to Barlow's show.

A charming and very rare survival, advertising one of the earliest Australian panoramas to be shown in London. The work, by Edward Barlow but borrowing heavily from the Tasmanian Thomas Peck, was based on the contraption invented by the Frenchman Thiodon, who used mechanical devices, models, and lighting to create a sort of motion picture or "mechanical theatre". A smash wherever it was promoted, Barlow had some success in Sydney with the show, which must have encouraged him to take it to London. Such handbills, the most fugitive of printed history, are almost unrecorded, and we do not know of another example relating to Barlow's show.

In 1833 George Peck created the "Theatre of Arts" in Hobart, basing it on Thiodon's theatre from London; he described the effect as 'forming a charming coup d'oeil, that will delight and surprise the beholder.' Peck's theatre had tremendous success for several years (see a terrific article by Robyn Lake, 'Adventures in Cybersound', online), but at some time seems to have been sold or leased to Barlow, who had arrived in Sydney on board the Lord Goderich in 1836. An arts entrepreneur, whilst in Sydney he tried his hand at a range of professions including lithographer, printer, architect and surveyor. In turn, Peck arrived in Sydney in 1838, and Barlow took over and hosted his own exhibition in Sydney in 1840. Whilst retaining many of the scenes, Barlow commissioned the scene painter George Keough to create Drop Scenes with more 'local content', presumably views and subjects relating to Sydney and surrounding area. The Sydney Herald reviewed the exhibition on 11 May 1840: 'We recommend all who have not seen this amusing exhibition to pay a visit forthwith. The scenery is, generally speaking well painted, and the automation works admirably. The price of admission is moderate, one and six pence for front seats and one shilling for back seats… The view of the Royal Hotel in flames is a vivid representation of that calamity.'

In 1841 Barlow took the exhibition to London and exhibited it in his rooms at 33 Red Lion Square, where it also appears to have run for several months. An article appeared in the Sydney Gazette (12 February 1842) which notes 'We perceive by the late English Newspapers, that E.D. Barlow, formerly of the Theatre of Arts, Bridge Street Sydney, is exhibiting in London his panoramic views of Sydney and its environs, and of Hobart Town with Mount Wellington in the distance. Mr.Barlow has also had printed flaming hand-bills, setting forth the numerous beauties of the different localities depicted in his panorama, and containing quotations from the Sydney journals in proof of the accuracy of the representations. The exhibition and Mr.Peck's model of Hobart Town must give the English public a better idea of the extent of the capitals of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land than it is possible to convey by any description.'

Dictionary of Australian Artists Online, Barlow.

Price (AUD): $5,850.00  other currencies     Ref: #4008026

Condition Report