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George French Angas’s view of the sea mouth of the Murray, from the largest and earliest series of lithographs of the infant colony of South Australia. Angas had travelled south from Adelaide in March 1844 to the sea mouth of … Read Full Description
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George French Angas’s view of the sea mouth of the Murray, from the largest and earliest series of lithographs of the infant colony of South Australia. Angas had travelled south from Adelaide in March 1844 to the sea mouth of the Murray River and Goolwa; ‘one continuous wall of foam shuts out the horizon, the surf rollers meeting the current of the river with impetuous force. Around is a wilderness of sand; and as the repeated lines of rollers rise and break upon the shore with a hollow moaning sound, the dull chime of their waves is responded to by the harrowing shrieks of multitudes of sea fowl that resort thither’.
Angas’s description; At the eastern extremity of Encounter Bay, the junction of the River Murray with the Southern Ocean takes place. A low sandy coast, completely open to the ocean, stretches away to the South East, forming the outer shore or sand-hills of the Coorung. To the left is a sandy bluff, called Barker’s Knoll. ‘one continuous wall of foam shuts out the horizon, the surf rollers meeting the current of the river with impetuous force. Around is a wilderness of sand; and as the repeated lines of rollers rise and break upon the shore with a hollow moaning sound, the dull chime of their waves is responded to by the harrowing shrieks of multitudes of sea fowl that resort thither’.
Charles Sturt the explorer describes the sea Mouth after he reached it on 12 February 1830 after his long journey by whaleboat down the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers. He completed the last few miles on foot as mud flats prevented the passage of the boat. A few days previously as the Murray flowed into Lake Alexandrina Sturt had written; ‘… I immediately foresaw that, in all probability, we should be disappointed in finding any practicable communication between the the lake and the ocean, as it was evident that the former was not much influenced by tides.’ When Sturt walked over the last sand-hill to reach the Murray Mouth some days later he saw the channel to the sea was only a quarter of a mile wide, but the water deep and the current was strong. However, ‘… the mouth of the channel is defended by a double line of breakers, amidst which, it would be dangerous to venture… thus were our fears of the impracticability and inutility of the channel of communication between the lake and the ocean confirmed.’
George French Angas (1822 - 1886)
Angas was a painter, lithographer, engraver and naturalist, fourth child and eldest son of George Fife Angas, a merchant and banker. As the eldest son he was expected to join his father's firm, but some months in a London counting house proved a disillusioning experience. In 1841 he took art lessons for four months from Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, a natural history painter and lithographer, and armed with this instruction set out to see the world. He began in the Mediterranean publishing, A Ramble in Malta and Sicily in the Autumn of 1841.......Illustrated with Sketches Taken on the Spot, and Drawn on the Stone by the Author, the following year. Angas's father had established the South Australian Company in 1836 and had large areas of land as well as banking interests in the province. George French sailed for South Australia in 1843 in the Augustus, arriving in Adelaide on 1st January 1844. Within days he had joined an exploring party selecting runs for the South Australia Company. They traveled through the Mount Lofty Ranges to the Murray River and down to Lake Coorong and Angas sketched views of the countryside, native animals and the customs and dwellings of the Narrinyerri people. Later he drew scenes on his father's land - 28,000 acres in the Barossa Valley - and accompanied George Grey's expedition to the then unknown south-east as unofficial artist. In July 1844 Angas visited New Zealand. Guided by two Maoris, he traveled on foot and by canoe through both islands, painting portraits of Maoris and views. Angas's father died in 1879, leaving a vast estate from which George French received only a annuity of 1000 pounds. In 1884 he went to Dominica on a collecting expedition, finding shells, moths, butterflies and birds. Dogged by rheumatism and neuralgia during his last years, Angas died in London on 4 October 1886.
James William Giles (1801 - 1870)
Giles was a painter and lithographer born in Glasgow , the son of a designer at the local calico. The family moved to Aberdeen around 1805 where his father worked in a printing factory at Aberdeen and was an artist of some repute. His father's early death threw his son at an early age upon his own resources and at 13 he maintained himself, his mother and sister by painting, and before he was 20 was teaching private classes in Aberdeen. At 21 he married a widow Clementina Farquharson. He then became a member of the Royal Scottish Academy and elected to the council of the Spalding Club. He first exhibited at the "Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland", and in 1829 became an academician of the Royal Scottish Academy, and contributed numerous works to its exhibitions from that time until near the close of his career. He also exhibited frequently at the British Institution in London, and occasionally at the Royal Academy and the Society of British Artists.
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