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Aboriginal woman and child by a fire

Artist: Port Jackson Painter
Created: [between 1788 and 1797]
Dimensions: 25.4 x 18.6 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 51


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Aboriginal woman and child standing in a landscape. The woman is depicted as if standing on the tips of her toes, facing forwards with her left leg crossed in front of her right and her left hand raised. Her skin is dark brown overlaid with black concentric rings which describe the contours of her body, particularly the knees, belly and breasts, as if imitating the style of a wood engraving. There is a basket of fish to her left, and her right arm is reaching down towards a young boy to her right. He in turn is stretching his arms towards a camp fire to his right (i.e. on the left of the picture). They stand in front of a river or harbour inlet on which there are two figures paddling canoes near the wooded far shore. The water is represented by a pale blue wash overlaid with pale grey lines, and the land by layers of brush marks in various shades of green, which follow the slope of the hills. There is little tonal variation between the foreground and background. The sky is unpainted. The drawing is annotated in brown ink and the upper part is framed by a pencil border.


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