First Fleet art highlights

Explore the British view of Australia in the early days of colonisation through a selection of highlights from the First Fleet collection. 

The collection originally came to the Museum as 3 smaller collections known as the Raper, Watling and Port Jackson Painter collections after the artists whose work they contain. The drawings attributed to the Port Jackson Painter are thought to be the work of several unidentified artists.

It is customary for some Aboriginal Australian communities not to mention names or reproduce images associated with deceased people. Members of these communities are respectfully advised that some images on display depict deceased Aboriginal people.

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The Art of the First Fleet book

The Art of the First Fleet book

Enjoy rare watercolours, ink and pencil drawings and some of the only visual records of the lives of the indigenous Eora people of Australia.

These beautiful illustrations, by artists on board the First Fleet, document the sights witnessed by the first Europeans to colonise Australia.

Buy The Art of the First Fleet online