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S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative"


SUMMARY: Charles Sturt's "Narrative of an Expedition into Central Australia ..." describes his 1844-1846 Great Northern Expedition. The two volume book also includes a review of South Australia as it was in 1847 when Sturt had last seen Adelaide. Published in early 1849, it has 16 full page plates – attributed to Sturt (2), S.T. Gill (3), E.C. Frome (1), John Gould & H.C. Richter (4); and there are six others not attributed to any artist. Nine book plates are of interest here – either definitely, likely or previously thought to have been – by Gill.

Article type: CATALOGUE & MAP


Sturt's Expedition and Return

Charles Sturt's Great Northern Expedition departed Adelaide in August 1844 and returned in January 1846. (For background on Sturt's expedition see State Library of South Australia | SA Memory | Taking it to the edge: Land: Charles Sturt .) Throughout the expedition Sturt kept a detailed journal which would become the basis for his book "Narrative of an Expedition into Central Australia ...".

With little time to recover Sturt resumed Government duties as Registrar-General, Colonial Treasurer and Member of the Legislative Council.

In Council in June 1846 he supported John Horrocks' proposed expedition to the North-West, moving acceptance of Horrocks' petition for funding. His motion was lost but private subscriptions were quickly forthcoming. Horrocks' expedition left the following month with S.T. Gill as artist/draftsman. Five weeks in Horrocks was fatally injured in a gun accident and the expedition was cut short.

Gill's 33 Watercolours

Nevertheless Gill had built up a good portfolio. He finalised his pictures including a series of 33 watercolours to be "disposed of by private raffle among the friends of [Horrocks] the deceased traveller".1 But not all went smoothly.

LOST – On Thursday or yesterday, the Subscription List to Mr Gill's drawings of scenes in the interior, taken during Mr Horrocks's journey. The finder is requested to forward it to Capt. Sturt, at the Public Offices.2

After some delay the raffle proceeded successfully on 6 January and brought in 30 guineas.3 Sturt ended up owning eight of the Horrocks 33. (See "Sturt's 13 Watercolours" below.)

Gill's Horrocks pictures would have been the main motivation for the Exhibition of Pictures of South Australian artists to run from 11 to 17 February 1847.

THE FINE ARTS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA. – An exhibition is to be opened during the week of the Agricultural and Horticultural Show for the exhibition of paintings and drawings by our South Australian artists – professional and amateur. His Excellency the Governor has kindly granted the use of the Council Room, and a Committee has been formed to make the preliminary arrangements – of which official notice will be given in our next. In the meantime, Mr Gill, the artist, will receive at his rooms in Leigh street, such paintings as are desired to be exhibited; and we mention this circumstance at once, under the impression that an early transmission of finished paintings will greatly facilitate the labors of the Committee.4

The committee was chaired by Sturt with Charles Berkeley as secretary. Gill presumably was a member, helped organise the event, was the largest exhibitor, and his series of 33 was the dominant exhibit.

Preparing Sturt's "Narrative"

At the same time Sturt was condensing his expedition journal and an early draft of his narrative was published over six newspaper pages on 13 February.5

On 27 March the ships Phoebe and Appleton arrived from England, one of them bringing news for Sturt. Less than a week later the newspapers reported Sturt had been granted eighteen months leave by the Governor and would return imminently to England.

It is confidently stated that Captain Sturt has received intimation by the last vessel from England, of an appointment awaiting him at home; at any rate the gallant Captain has asked leave of absence, which has not only been granted, but he will carry with him his Excellency's most kind and honourable testimonials.6

Sturt and his family sailed on 7 May (on the Appleton).

When did Gill have opportunity to paint for Sturt's "Narrative"? It's possible he could have done so in 1846 after Sturt returned to Adelaide in January and before Gill left with Horrocks in July. However it seems more likely that it was Gill's Horrocks pictures and their truthful representation of the northern landscapes that convinced Sturt to engage the artist. So it's likely Gill painted for Sturt between the exhibition and the sailing – between February and April 1847. (Around the same time Gill was also busy painting the Burra Burra mine for the South Australian Mining Association, with several pictures dated 12 April 1847.)

The "Narrative" Plates

Back in England Sturt completed his "Narrative" in November 1848. Published in early 1849, the two volume book has 16 full page plates – attributed to Sturt (2), S.T. Gill (3), E.C. Frome (1), John Gould & H.C. Richter (4); and there are six others not attributed to any artist. Nine plates are of particular interest and can be grouped as follows:

Plate AttributedOriginal ArtistOriginal WorkNo.
GillGillSee Sturt's 13 below3
SturtGillSee Sturt's 13 below1
SturtFrome (likely)See Sturt's 13 below1
No artistGillKnown watercolours2
No artistGill (likely)Unknown originals2

The originals for five of the plates are found in a collection of 13 watercolours.

Sturt's 13 Watercolours presented by Queen Elizabeth II, 1956

In 1956 Queen Elizabeth II presented 13 watercolours to Prime Minister Menzies. Thought to have previously belonged to Charles Sturt, the pictures are now in the National Library of Australia (NLA, R343 to R355). Of these:

The five Sturt expedition pictures became plates in the "Narrative". Four of them have reverse inscriptions of a title and number (1, 3, 4 and 5), but given their inexact corrrespondence with the book, the inscriptions likely precede its publication.

Although the pictures must have come originally from Sturt, it's not known when and how.7. A secondary reverse inscription on one reads "Thirteen artist drawings illustrative of Capt Sturts' Narrative / of an expedition into Central Australia / see the work (... 2 Vols ... 1849)". Given this misidentification of the Horrocks pictures, this inscription is not by Sturt and suggests the The Royal Collection may have acquired these works after Sturt's death in 1869.

Works: Catalogue and Map

To see the Sturt "Narrative" watercolours and nine plates, with accompanying notes, just scroll down or jump to the List of Works.

Highlights of my analysis are:

These catalogue entries generally contain more detail than the map entries for the same work.

The map locates select pictures connected to S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative of an Expedition ...". The background map image is also from the book.

Open map in full screen 


References

Sturt, 1847. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia, performed under the authority of Her Majesty's government, during the years 1844, 5, and 6 : together with a notice of the province of South Australia in 1847 –  Volume 1  –  Volume 2 .

Sturt, Charles. and Waterhouse, Jill. Journal of the central Australian expedition, 1844-5 / by Charles Sturt ; edited with an introduction and notes by Jill Waterhouse Caliban Books London ; Dover, N.H., USA 1984

Sturt, Charles. & Davis, Richard C. & Hakluyt Society. (2002). The central Australian expedition, 1844-1846 : the journals of Charles Sturt. London : Hakluyt Society

Brock, Daniel George. & Peake-Jones, Kenneth. & Royal Geographical Society of Australasia. South Australian Branch. (1988). To the desert with Sturt : a diary of the 1844 expedition. Adelaide : South Australian Government Printer in association with the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, South Australian Branch

Appleyard, Ron. & Fargher, Barbara. & Radford, Ron. & Art Gallery of South Australia. (1986). S.T. Gill : the South Australian years, 1839-1852. Adelaide : Art Gallery of South Australia


Footnotes

1. Adelaide Observer, 12 December 1846: 5. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158923616> and
South Australian, 5 January 1847: 6. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71606913>
2. South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register, 12 December 1846: 2. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article195934393>
3. Adelaide Observer, 9 January 1847: 2. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158923698>
4. South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register, 23 January 1847: 2. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article195934527>
5. South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register, 13 February 1847: 4. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article195934601>
6. Adelaide Observer, 3 April 1847: 5. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158924100>
7. The Canberra Times, 29 November 1978: 42. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110926112>


List of Works

You can scroll down to see all pictures along with detailed notes or click a link to jump to a specific work from the list.

Detailed notes each include a link to the map location for the view.

Dates in the descriptive text are generally in yyyy-mm-dd format and more specifically in Extended Date/Time Format (EDTF) .


Chaining over the Sand Hills to Lake Torrens | NLA R343

Thumbnail image for NLA R343The sandy ridges of Central Australia | National Library of Australia R343 
Artist: Gill, S.T. | Date: 1846-02~/1847-04~ | Appleyard cat. 84
Catalogue: S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative"

Corresponding plate in Sturt's Narrative: Vol 1, frontispiece, "Chaining over the Sand Hills to Lake Torrens".
Reverse inscription: "No. 1 / The sandy ridges of Central Australia" (possibly in preparation for publication).

On Charles Sturt's 1844-1846 expedition four men are plotting their route, using flags to set direction and surveyor's chain to calculate distance. The sand hills are dotted with bluebush, cotton bush, salt bush or similar. A dry watercourse runs right to left across the picture and in the distance is what seems to be a dry lake. The men have a two-horse cart and two additional horses. The scene corresponds with the end, on 4 August 1845, of the expedition's westerly chaining towards what they thought was Lake Torrens. Daniel Brock lists this party as David Morgan, himself, Joseph Cowley and Dr John Harris Browne.

"28th [July 1845]. The chaining is to be carried on to the west until we fall in with Lake Torrens. The drays pass over to the place named the 'Park', while the chaining party carries on their work. Morgan, myself, Joe and the doctor are the party who effect the chaining. Chained 8 miles. The country desert.
1st July [in error, actually August]. Friday. We have chained 46 miles from last Monday. No perfect picture can be conveyed to the mind of the desolateness all around us, sand ridges and hollows. With the heavy chain we have often to wade up to our knees in a liquefied mud sufficiently consistent to make it like pulling up a 50 lb. weight at each foot. Very little timber, it being either a stunted acacia or the prickly spinifex. A break in the scene was the sight of an unknown but most beautiful flower, strange to me. Although in full bloom it was a beautiful green colour.
4th [August]. After chaining about 4 1/2 miles we came upon the shore of what has been once an immense body of water but now comparatively dry – what water was in it in the bed, is from the rains. We struck it on its eastern bank, just distinguishable to the west was a line of trees or what appeared to be such..." (Brock & Peake-Jones, 169-171)

Map | S. T. Gill - Sturt's Narrative of an Expedition

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Chaining over the Sand Hills to Lake Torrens [plate] | SLNSW

Thumbnail image for SLNSW Chaining over the Sand Hills to Lake Torrens [plate] | State Library of New South Wales  
Artist: After Gill, S.T. | Date: 1848/1849-01

This plate in Sturt's Narrative (Vol 1: frontispiece) is attributed to Gill and is from his watercolour (NLA R343). Caption: "Gill del't" (l.l.)

273 6/07/2021 11:24:36 AM


Ana-branch of the Darling | NLA R344

Thumbnail image for NLA R344Ana-branch of the Darling | National Library of Australia R344 
Artist: Gill, S.T. | Date: 1846-02~/1847-04~ | Appleyard cat. n/a
Catalogue: S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative"

Corresponding plate in Sturt's Narrative: Vol 1, before 103, "Ana-branch of the Darling".
Reverse inscription: none.

This is an anabranch of the Darling River, west of the main stream and near the Murray River. Sturt's expedition reached this location on 22 September 1844.

The corresponding plate is attributed to Sturt, but the original watercolour is by Gill. Appleyard also attributes this to Gill (fn. 5, p. 118) .

See also Charles Sturt's diary sketch on 22 September 1846:
Thumbnail image for SLNSW Safe 1 / 23b.25Ana branch 22 Sept | Safe 1 / 23b.25 .

Map | S. T. Gill - Sturt's Narrative of an Expedition

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Ana-branch of the Darling [plate] | SLNSW

Thumbnail image for SLNSW Ana-branch of the Darling [plate] | State Library of New South Wales  
Artist: After Gill, S.T. | Date: 1848/1849-01

This plate in Sturt's Narrative (Vol 1: before 103) is attributed to Sturt but is from Gill's watercolour (NLA R344). Caption: "Captn Sturt del" (l.l.)

274 6/07/2021 11:24:50 AM


Native Village in the Northern Interior | NLA R345

Thumbnail image for NLA R345Aboriginal Australian camp in the northern interior of South Australia, ca. 1846 | National Library of Australia R345 
Artist: Gill, S.T. | Date: 1846-02~/1847-04~ | Appleyard cat. 83
Catalogue: S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative"

Corresponding plate in Sturt's Narrative: Vol 1, after 254, "Native Village in the Northern Interior".
Reverse inscription: "No. 3 Native Village in the Northern Interior of S. Australia".

The pictures shows seven Aboriginal huts and a group of twelve Aboriginal men, women and children. Large trees in the background indicate the line of a creek.

Sturt describes coming across a "village consisting of nineteen huts" as well as "numerous" Aborginal people at Cooper's Creek.

However this picture is intended to represent a group of "seven or eight huts" that he came across on 19 January 1845 and which he describes in the pages before and after the plate. This is made explicit by Sturt's comment "as shewn in the sketch" (Narrative, 1:254). There were no Aborginal people at the huts when Sturt saw them. The plate significantly differs from the text by showing Aboriginal people. The simplest explanation for this deviation from the text is a peopled picture is more interesting. (Jill Waterhouse's 1984 edition of Sturt's journal includes a Sturt sketch without people (from Bodleian Library, Oxford) which presumably informed this one by Gill.)

"At a little distance from the creek to the N.W., upon a rising piece of ground, and certainly above the reach of floods, there were seven or eight huts, very different in shape and substance from any we had seen. They were made of strong boughs fixed in a circle in the ground, so as to meet in a common centre; on these there was, as in some other huts I have had occasion to describe, a thick seam of grass and leaves, and over this again a compact coating of clay. They were from eight to ten feet in diameter, and about four and a half feet high, the opening into them not being larger than to allow a man to creep in. These huts also faced the north-west, and each had a smaller one attached to it as shewn in the sketch. Like those before seen they had been left in the neatest order by their occupants, and were evidently used during the rainy season, as they were at some little distance from the creek, and near one of those bare patches in which water must lodge at such times ... From the fact of these huts facing the north-west I conclude that their more inclement weather is from the opposite point of the compass. It was also evident from the circumstance of their being unoccupied at that time (January), that they were winter habitations, at which season the natives, no doubt, suffer greatly from cold and damp, the country being there much under water, at least from appearances. I had remarked that as we proceeded northwards the huts were more compactly built, and the opening or entrance into them smaller, as if the inhabitants of the more northern interior felt the winter's cold in proportion to the summer heat. Our position at this point was in latitude 29 43'S., and in longitude 141 14'E., the variation being 5 21' East." (Narrative, 1:254-255 with the plate being between these pages. The date is 19 January 1845.)

This is the original text from Sturt's journal:
"[20 January 1845] At a little distance from the spot where we breakfasted on a rising piece of ground without the boundary of the floods and near one of those bare patches on which water lodges in the winter, we saw a Native village, the huts of which were very differently constructed from those ordinarily in use by them. These huts were firmly built of Boughs, planted in the ground so as to meet in a common centre; these boughs were from 3 to 4 inches in diameter and formed the framework of a solid construction. On these boughs a thick coating of grass was placed, and over the grass a thick layer of Soil. The openings on these huts was to the north west. They were extremely comfortable and cleanly swept, and had been left in the neatest order by their occupants, The entrances to them were however much larger than the entrances of some huts in a village we came upon today ... in both cases there was a very small hut of similar construction to every large one, for the purpose I conclude of holding the implements of the owners, and their Stores. The fact of these huts being at some little distance from the Creeks, would indicate that the creeks are subject to very sudden and heavy floods ..." (Sturt & Davis, 140-141).

Previous NLA title: "Native village in the northern interior of S. Australia".

Note: Appleyard erred in his reverse inscription, giving this as "No. 4".

Map | S. T. Gill - Sturt's Narrative of an Expedition

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Native Village in the Northern Interior [plate] | SLNSW

Thumbnail image for SLNSW Native Village in the Northern Interior [plate] | State Library of New South Wales  
Artist: After Gill, S.T. | Date: 1848/1849-01

This plate in Sturt's Narrative (Vol 1: after 254) is attributed to Gill and is from his watercolour (NLA R345). Caption: "Gill del't" (l.l.)

276 6/07/2021 11:25:02 AM


The Depot Glen | NLA R355

Thumbnail image for NLA R355The Depot Glen | National Library of Australia R355 
Artist: Frome, E.C. | Date: 1846-02~/1847-04~
Catalogue: S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative"

Corresponding plate in Sturt's Narrative: Vol 1, after 266, "The Depot Glen".
Reverse inscription: "No. 5, The Depot Glen in lat. 29°40'S [and?] Long. 142°E".

This is Depot Glen, a major depot camp for Sturt's expedition. One of the expeditioners shoots at a pair of birds. A wedge-tailed eagle soars above the sharp edge of the rock wall. Just visible at lower left are the pencil outlines of two figures not completed by the artist.

"AQUILA FUCOSA, CUVIER - The Wedge-tailed Eagle. Two of these frequented the Depot Glen in 29°40' 00'' and in 142°, one of which was secured. They generally rested on a high pointed rock, whence their glance extended over the whole country, and it was only by accident that the above specimen was killed." (Narrative, A:12)

This sketch is probably by E.C. Frome.

It is currently attributed to Sturt in NLA's catalogue - presumably based on the plate's attribution. However, apart from his sketchbook, I find no other Sturt paintings of this period with which to compare.

Appleyard (fn. 5, p, 118) thinks this - like NLA R344 - is by Gill. Factors that support this are: i) it's in a group (R343 to R346) with other Gill paintings for Sturt; ii) "Anabranch of the Darling" (R344) is by Gill even though the plate is ascribed to Sturt. A factor against this conclusion is that the paper size is different from all the other Gills for Sturt in this group.

Another possibility is that this sketch is by E.C. Frome. The style, colouring and paper size are similar to watercolours by E.C. Frome held by AGSA and Frome was the artist for "Mount Bryan" (Narrative, 2: before 209). In particular, the sharp rocks are notable in this watercolour:

Thumbnail image for AGSA 709HP2Depot, Black Rock Hills | Art Gallery of South Australia 709HP2 

A photograph of this painting (SLSA B16061/4) shows the title on mount: "The Depot Glen, in Lat. 29°40' S., Long 148°E. / Captain Sturt". Depot Glen is located in Sturt's Narrative "in 29°40' 00" and in longitude 142°". This error on the mount carried through to the NLA catalogue entry.

Map | S. T. Gill - Sturt's Narrative of an Expedition

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The Depot Glen [plate] | SLNSW

Thumbnail image for SLNSW The Depot Glen [plate] | State Library of New South Wales  
Artist: After Frome, E.C. | Date: 1848/1849-01

This plate in Sturt's Narrative (Vol 1: after 266) is attributed to Sturt. Caption: "Captn Sturt del" (l.l.) It is from the watercolour NLA R355 which is probably by E.C. Frome.

277 6/07/2021 3:23:26 PM


Lake Torrens [plate] | SLNSW

Thumbnail image for SLNSW Lake Torrens [plate] | State Library of New South Wales  
Artist: After Gill, S.T. | Date: 1848/1849-01
Catalogue: S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative"

This plate in Sturt's Narrative (Vol 1: before 345) is not attributed to any artist. Caption: "H. Melville", printmaker (l.r). However it's likely based on an unknown watercolour by S.T. Gill.

The scene corresponds with the end, on 4 August 1845, of westerly chaining to what the party thought was Lake Torrens. Two of the party (right) have a surveying flag and a futher flag is in the distance.

"4th [August]. After chaining about 4 1/2 miles we came upon the shore of what has been once an immense body of water but now comparatively dry - what water was in it in the bed, is from the rains. We struck it on its eastern bank, just distinguishable to the west was a line of trees or what appeared to be such. There was a great haze brooding over the lake when we first came on it. This haze passing in some measure away we observed to the S and SW high table land, and nearer from the point of observation was a range distinct apparently from any other prominent mass, having an abrupt bold bluff at its southern end, and the north face sloped very regularly. The Mt. Hopeless of Mr. Eyre, this bluff is conjectured to be. The view we thus obtained might have extended 30-40 or more miles. A small body of water was perceived to the NW, which was found to extend but over a very small area ... We encamped, the Captain and Doctor proceeding away on the bank trending north. Stuart took an opposite course S. ... this scene over which we now pass our eyes over, is the Climax of Desolation - no trees, no shrubs, all bleak barren undulating sand. Miserable! Horrible!" (Brock & Peake-Jones, 171-2)

Map | S. T. Gill - Sturt's Narrative of an Expedition

278 29/08/2021 7:59:09 AM


View from Stanley Range | NLA R346

Thumbnail image for NLA R346View from Stanley Range | National Library of Australia R346 
Artist: Gill, S.T. | Date: 1846-02~/1847-04~ | Appleyard cat. 82
Catalogue: S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative"

Corresponding plate in Sturt's Narrative: Vol 2, frontispiece, "View from Stanley Range".
Reverse inscription: "No. 4 View from Stanley's Range".

Two expedition members take bearings from a rocky outcrop, one having a telescope. In the middle ground is a plain interrupted by a twin peaked hill and in the distance appears to be a lake and higher land.

Sturt's expedition travelled the "Barrier or Stanley Range" around November 1845. This seems to be a view to the west which could suggest a location around Mount Robe.

An additional reverse inscription refers to this group (NLA R343-355) as a whole: "Thirteen artist drawings illustrative of Capt Sturts' Narrative / of an expedition into Central Australia / see the work (... 2 Vols ... 1849)". The misidentification of the Horrocks pictures as being Sturt's expedition indicates this inscription is after Sturt's ownership of the work.

Map | S. T. Gill - Sturt's Narrative of an Expedition

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View from Stanley Range [plate] | SLNSW

Thumbnail image for SLNSW View from Stanley Range [plate] | State Library of New South Wales  
Artist: After Gill, S.T. | Date: 1848/1849-01

This plate in Sturt's "Narrative..." (Vol 2: frontispiece) is attributed to Gill and is from his watercolour NLA R346. Caption: "Gill del't" (l.l.)

272 6/07/2021 3:32:29 PM


Strzelecki's Creek [plate] | SLNSW

Thumbnail image for SLNSW Strzelecki's Creek [plate] | State Library of New South Wales  
Artist: After Gill, S.T. | Date: 1848/1849-01
Catalogue: S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative"

This plate in Sturt's Narrative (Vol 2: before 91) is not attributed to any artist. Its similarity with "Native Village in the Northern Interior" suggests S.T. Gill is the likely original artist. The scene is also very like the plate "Native Graves", drawn by G. Hamilton, in Eyre's "Journals ..." (1:175).

The expedition was at Strzelecki Creek from 18 August to 11 October 1845. (Source: Narrative map)

Map | S. T. Gill - Sturt's Narrative of an Expedition

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King William Street [plate] | SLNSW

Thumbnail image for SLNSW King William Street [plate] | State Library of New South Wales  
Artist: After Gill, S.T. | Date: 1848/1849-01

This plate in Sturt's Narrative (Vol 2: facing p.147) is not attributed to any artist. Caption: "H. Melville", printmaker (l.r.).

The view is north along King William Street towards North Terrace from a point on the corner of Hindley Street. The government flagstaff is visible on North Terrace.

This is an almost identical albeit later view to Gill's 1845 watercolour for James Allen (AGSA 0.643) the main differences being (i) the Auction Mart eastern collonade (added late 1845 / early 1846), (ii) Aboriginal people being more prominent and (iii) another major building at right (the identity of which eludes). The presence of the collonade suggests a later (unknown) Gill version of this view could be the basis for this plate. Alternatively the engraver has used some licence in elaborating on the 1845 watercolour.

Map | S. T. Gill - Sturt's Narrative of an Expedition

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Port Adelaide [plate] | SLNSW

Thumbnail image for SLNSW Port Adelaide [plate] | State Library of New South Wales  
Artist: After Gill, S.T. | Date: 1848/1849-01

This plate in Sturt's Narrative (Vol 2: facing p.167) is not attributed to any artist. Caption: "H. Melville", printmaker (l.r.).

A view of Port Adelaide looking north up the "canal" with the flagstaff (with crows nest and hanging banner) at the end. This short canal ran off the Port River in line with the Commercial Road and between Queen's Wharf (left of picture) and McLaren Wharf (right). Prominent are the South Australian company store (McLaren Warehouse - two storey building at right) and the Customs House (two storey building at left). At near right is "R. Venn" (butcher) and the Commercial Inn.

This is the same scene as Gill's watercolours (i) in 1847 (AGSA 0.656) and (ii) undated (NLA NK210). It is most like the former without being identical to either. It shares a two-windowed Venn's with the former, whereas the latter has a four-windowed Venn's. And yet it has a partly obscured SA Company stores as does the latter. Based on their dates and a pencil sketch of this scene on the back of one of the watercolours for James Allen (AGSA 0.641), it's likely that the AGSA watercolour was for Sturt and the NLA one for James Allen.

Map | S. T. Gill - Sturt's Narrative of an Expedition

271 11/08/2021 11:03:47 AM


Port Adelaide looking north along Commercial Road | AGSA 0.656

Thumbnail image for AGSA 0.656Port Adelaide looking north along Commercial Road | Art Gallery of South Australia 0.656 
Artist: Gill, S.T. | Date: 1847 | Appleyard cat. 53
Catalogue: S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative"

A view of Port Adelaide looking north up the "canal" with the flagstaff (with crows nest and hanging banner) at the end. This short canal ran off the Port River in line with the Commercial Road and between Queen's Wharf (left of picture) and McLaren Wharf (right). Prominent are the South Australian company store (McLaren Warehouse - two storey red building at right) and the Customs House (two storey white building at left). At near right is "R. Venn, butcher" and the "Comercial (sic.) Inn".

This is signed and dated by Gill: "STG/47". Given its date and use as a plate, it's likely this watercolour was for Sturt.

It is a scene twin with NLA NK210 which seems to have been painted for James Allen in late 1845. Interestingly the South Australian Company building loft door is half open in both this picture and its twin.

Map | S. T. Gill - Port Adelaide

220 25/08/2021 2:19:54 PM



David Coombe, July 2021. Updated 30 September 2021. | text copyright (except where indicated)

CITE THIS: David Coombe, 2021, S.T. Gill and Sturt's "Narrative", accessed dd mmm yyyy, <http://coombe.id.au/S_T_Gill/S_T_Gill_and_Sturt's_Narrative.htm>