Echidna by Watling

Port Jackson Painter (fl.1788-1790s)
[Echidna, Ant eating Porcupine of New South Wales], c.1788-1792.
Watercolour and ink, 114 x 256 mm.

Eighteenth century drawings by Europeans in Australia, provide us with a unique insight into the excitement and amazement felt by such pioneers, experiencing a whole new way of life. People travelled to Australia for many reasons; some sought glory, excitement and riches, some were part of the British military, others were sent as convicts.

Whatever their backgrounds, Europeans were fascinated by the unusual animals and plants that surrounded them and were quick to record their first impressions on paper. Some of these early drawings formed the basis of important scientific publications.

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