George French Angas (British, 1822-1886) The Starting of a Survey and Land-Exploring Expedition from the City across the Continent towards the Northern Territory
Lot 30Ω
George French Angas (British, 1822-1886) The Starting of a Survey and Land-Exploring Expedition from the City across the Continent towards the Northern Territory
Sold for AU$ 114,000 (US$ 100,145) inc. premium

Lot Details
George French Angas (British, 1822-1886)
The Starting of a Survey and Land-Exploring Expedition from the City across the Continent towards the Northern Territory
watercolour and bodycolour heightened with gum arabic and scratching out
24.8 x 38.4cm (9 3/4 x 15 1/8in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Collection of the artist
    Thence by descent
    Private Collection, United Kingdom


    George French Angas was the eldest son of George Fife Angas (1789-1879), who played a significant part in the formation of South Australia. A successful business man in England, George Fife became interested in a proposed free settlement in South Australia and formed the South Australian Company. The company purchased land from the South Australian Association and in February 1836, three ships set sail for South Australia with the first emigrants, livestock and provisions on board. In 1843, his sons George French and John Howard left for the colony aboard the Augustus.

    George French painted some of the earliest views of South Australia. Arriving in Adelaide in January 1844, he immediately joined an exploring expedition into the interior selecting runs for the South Australian Company. They travelled through the Mount Lofty Ranges to the Murray River and down to Lake Coorong. Angas sketched views of the countryside, native animals and the customs and dwellings of the Narrinyeri people. Later he drew scenes on his father's land (28,000 acres in the Barossa Valley) and accompanied Sir George Grey (1812–1898) on his expedition to the then unknown south-east as unofficial artist.

    He remained in South Australia until July, when he left for New Zealand, returning in January 1845 for another six months. During these visits to South Australia, Angas went with William Giles to the area in the vicinity of the mouth of the River Murray, and with Governor Grey to the south-east of the province, Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln. He began an extensive series of journeys to the Murray River lakes, Barossa Valley, Fleurieu Peninsula and the South East, presenting his impressions of the newly established colony: its inhabitants, landscape, and its flora and fauna.

    Angas recorded these journeys in watercolours that were shown at the first art exhibition in South Australia, held to great acclaim in the Legislative Council chamber in Adelaide in June 1845. The pictures had another showing at the Royal Hotel, Sydney, in July 1845. These formed the basis of many lithographic plates in his South Australia Illustrated and The New Zealanders Illustrated, published after his return to London in 1846.

    The present lot appears to depict the departure of Captain Charles Napier Sturt (1795-1869) on third and final expedition. On 10 August 1844, Sturt left Adelaide with 15 men, 6 drays, a boat and 200 sheep. Another work of the same title by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-1880) was lithographed for Angas's South Australia Illustrated (plate 54):

    "The annexed plate will convey some idea of the busy and animated scene the city of Adelaide presented on the eventful morning the gallant Sturt set out on his late expedition to penetrate into the centre of the vast continent of Australia: he was attended by a large concourse of his friends and fellow colonists, who accompanied him out of town, mounted upon horseback, and the day was a gala for the citizens of Adelaide."

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the present work has been reattributed to ST Gill.
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