Eastern gray kangaroo, Macropus giganteus and grass tree, Xanthorrhoea sp

Eastern gray kangaroo, Macropus giganteus and grass tree, Xanthorrhoea sp

George Raper (1769-1797)
Watercolour and ink, c1789 © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
Raper collection

Raper faced the same difficulties as other First Fleet artists in capturing accurate depictions of fauna unfamiliar to them. Andrew Sayers, in his book Australian Art (2001), describes this obstacle as an ‘endearing naivety’ and this kangaroo epitomises this in many ways.

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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