Ethnography

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"A Direct North View of Sydney Cove and Port Jackson, the Chief British Settlement in new South Wales, Taken from the North Shorre about one Mile distant, for John White Esqr."

Artist: Watling, Thomas
Created: [ca. 1794?]
Dimensions: 41.4 x 52.8 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. LS7

 

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A monochrome view of the settlement at Sydney Cove, viewed from the opposite shore of the harbour. The darker land in the foreground rises to the left and right from a low central point and, together with the curve of the far shore, frames an elliptical body of water in the centre. Trees to the left and right of the foreground curve inwards and act as a compositional device to unite the two land masses. To the right of the foreground shore, three Aboriginal figures are depicted gesturing towards two companions in a canoe to the left. In the harbour behind them three ships are anchored, one of which is flying the naval ensign of Queen Anne. On the far shore the hut at the end of Bennelong Point can be seen at the extreme left, with Government House on the hillside further to the right. Various other buildings can be identified, including the dry store near Government Wharf, and the hospital buildings to the right. The scene is enclosed by distant tree-covered hills. The drawing is executed in broad washes with some linear definition of foliage and finer detail in the buildings and ships. The sky is represented by washes of grey and unpainted areas indicating clouds. The drawing is framed by a double-banded border, the inner band of which is coloured black. It is signed by Watling, titled in copperplate script, and annotated in brown ink.

 

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