Description of a View of the Town of Sydney, New South Wales; the Harbour of Port Jackson, and surrounding country; now exhibiting in the Panorama, Leicester-Square. Painted by the Proprietor, Robert Burford. Augustus EARLE, Robert BURFORD.
Description of a View of the Town of Sydney, New South Wales; the Harbour of Port Jackson, and surrounding country; now exhibiting in the Panorama, Leicester-Square. Painted by the Proprietor, Robert Burford.
Description of a View of the Town of Sydney, New South Wales; the Harbour of Port Jackson, and surrounding country; now exhibiting in the Panorama, Leicester-Square. Painted by the Proprietor, Robert Burford.

Description of a View of the Town of Sydney…
Description of a View of the Town of Sydney, New South Wales; the Harbour of Port Jackson, and surrounding country; now exhibiting in the Panorama, Leicester-Square. Painted by the Proprietor, Robert Burford.

London: J. and C. Adlard, 1830.

Octavo book of 12pp., with folding lithograph measuring 275 x 395 mm., recent grey paper boards.

"The view from this place is bold, varied and beautiful"

Rare and historically important description and depiction of Sydney Town, published to accompany the view based on originals by Augustus Earle exhibited in London at Robert Burford's panorama in the Strand. It includes a lithograph of the panorama as a line drawing in two rows, with accompanying text specifically describing buildings and points of interest (including places of Aboriginal significance). The panorama is based on original panoramic landscape watercolours painted in February 1827 by Augustus Earle from Palmer's Hill, which he then dispatched to Robert Burford in London. Burford notes that 'The present Panorama was taken from the highest part of the government domain, the drawings were made by Mr. Earle, under the inspection of Lieutenant Colonel Dumaresq, by whom they were brought to England, and to whom R. Burford takes this opportunity of making his acknowledgements for the polite attention he has obtained from him in the progress of the painting. The view from this place is bold, varied and beautiful…'. Henry Dumaresq, formerly private secretary to Governor Darling, had returned to England during 1827.

Rare and historically important description and depiction of Sydney Town, published to accompany the view based on originals by Augustus Earle exhibited in London at Robert Burford's panorama in the Strand. It includes a lithograph of the panorama as a line drawing in two rows, with accompanying text specifically describing buildings and points of interest (including places of Aboriginal significance). The panorama is based on original panoramic landscape watercolours painted in February 1827 by Augustus Earle from Palmer's Hill, which he then dispatched to Robert Burford in London. Burford notes that 'The present Panorama was taken from the highest part of the government domain, the drawings were made by Mr. Earle, under the inspection of Lieutenant Colonel Dumaresq, by whom they were brought to England, and to whom R. Burford takes this opportunity of making his acknowledgements for the polite attention he has obtained from him in the progress of the painting. The view from this place is bold, varied and beautiful…'. Henry Dumaresq, formerly private secretary to Governor Darling, had returned to England during 1827.

The panorama opened in the Strand and later moved to improved premises at Leicester Square. Naturally illuminated with a large skylight, the panorama was open during daylight hours and its success depended upon the quality of natural light afforded by the weather (not surprisingly, foggy London weather producing underwhelming results). Altick notes that the duration of any one panorama was variable, but Burford typically exhibited scenes for about 12 months during that late 1840s. The business closed in 1863, eclipsed by the new art of photography that captured the exotic in an altogether different way (see The Shows of London, pp. 137-140).

Besides a detailed description of the points of interest depicted in the panorama, the accompanying descriptive test contains some intriguing facts: "… the ladies spare neither pains nor expense in decorating their persons; London and Parisian fashions, made of English or French materials, are eagerly sought; china crapes, Indian silks, muslins, are much too cheap to be fashionable"; and, "No animal of a ferocious character has ever been discovered, nor any larger than the Kangaroo. The only reptile to be feared is the Serpent, of which thirty species are said to be venomous".

As Wantrup notes, 'Earle's importance in the history of Australian art and in the development of lithographic art in Australia is such that every serious collection should have some example of his work'. Given the panorama no longer survives, and was important in disseminating information about New South Wales to the public in England, this booklet with its lithographic plate is of considerable historical interest.

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Provenance: Private collection, New South Wales

Butler, Printed: Images in Colonial Australia 1801-1901, pp. 99-102; Ferguson, 1329b; Wantrup, 221.

Condition Report: Fine

Price (AUD): $4,500.00

US$3,262.49   Other currencies

Ref: #4107075

Condition Report