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"A Native of New South Wales equipt for Fight"

Artist: Port Jackson Painter
Created: [between 1788 and 1797]
Dimensions: 28.2 x 18.6 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 50


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Aboriginal man equipped with a shield, three spears and a throwing stick, his body marked with cicatrices and his hair decorated with bone and tooth hanging ornaments. He is depicted in left profile as if walking along a rocky ledge overlooking the sea, which is represented by a pale blue gradated wash overlaid with grey horizontal lines. There are two headlands in the middle-distance, and a relatively high horizon behind them. The sky is composed of a gradated wash of blue, pale yellow and pink. In the foreground to the right there is a branch of a tree with grey green foliage drawn with vertical brush marks. The drawing is framed by a double ink-line border, and annotated below the border in brown ink.


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  • Port Jackson Painter]
  • The drawing is inscribed in blue pencil at top right with the number "59", which refers to the pre-1984 numbering system for the Watling Collection.
  • The drawing is annotated in brown ink at bottom "A Native of New South Wales equipt for Fight."
  • The drawing is unsigned and undated.
  • The author of this catalogue record is Suzanne Stenning.
  • By permission of the trustees of the Natural History Museum (London).
  • Two sets of transparencies held in the Natural History Museum (London) Zoology Library and Picture Library: Picture Library order number 12050
  • James Lee of Kensington : purchased ; 1902
  • Data sheet available.
  • Wheeler, A. and Smith, B, (eds.) The Art of the First Fleet and other early Australian Drawings. New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1988. (Plate 23, p. 36.)