C1814

Seal Island, in King George’s Sound: taken from the anchor, Dec.9. 1801.

Rare coastal profile of Seal Island, southeast of Albany, by William Westall, artist on board Matthew Flinders seminal survey of the Australia on the Investigator. Flinders Dec.9. 1801.: Seal Island, where we stopped in passing, is a mass of granite, which … Read Full Description

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S/N: FAVTTA-CP-WC-0174–195391
(C097)
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Details

Full Title:

Seal Island, in King George’s Sound: taken from the anchor, Dec.9. 1801.

Date:

C1814

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Hand coloured copper engraving.
AUTHENTICITY
Seal Island, in King George's Sound: taken from the anchor, Dec.9. 1801. - Antique View from 1814

Genuine antique
dated:

1814

Description:

Rare coastal profile of Seal Island, southeast of Albany, by William Westall, artist on board Matthew Flinders seminal survey of the Australia on the Investigator.

Flinders Dec.9. 1801.:
Seal Island, where we stopped in passing, is a mass of granite, which is accessible only at its western end, as represented in Mr. Westall’s sketch. After killing a few seals upon the shore, we ascended the hill to search for the bottle and parchment left by captain Vancouver in 1791;* but could find no vestiges either of it or of the staff or pile of stones; and since there was no appearance of the natives having crossed over from the main, I was led to suspect that a second ship had been here before us.

From of Flinders hydrographic atlas, A voyage to Terra Australis…, sheet XVII, London : G. and W. Nicol, 1814.

Full title of the atlas;A Voyage to Terra Australis, undertaken for the purpose of completing the discovery of that vast country, and prosecuted in the years 1801, 1802, and 1803, in His Majesty’s Ship The Investigator and subsequently in the armed vessel Porpoise and Cumberland schooner. 

William Westall (1781 - 1850)

Westall was a landscape artist born at Hertford, England. He was taught to draw by his elder half-brother Richard (1765-1836), a water-colour painter, Royal Academician and painting teacher to Princess Victoria. In 1799 he was admitted to the Royal Academy School, where he was studying when at 19 he was appointed landscape artist with Matthew Flinders' Investigator expedition to Australia, at a salary of 300 guineas. During the voyage he made a large number of pencil-and-wash landscapes in places visited by the Investigator and a series of coast profiles in pencil. When the Porpoise ran aground on Wreck Reef his sketches were 'wetted and partly destroyed' and, while Westall travelled in China, the drawings, regarded as part of the official record of the voyage, were taken by Lieutenant Robert Fowler to England. There, at the suggestion of Sir Joseph Banks, they were handed to Richard Westall to be 'restored to a proper state'. After spending some time in China and India Westall returned to London in February 1805 and sought access to the sketches to paint a picture for exhibition at the Royal Academy and showed a View of the Bay of Pines at the academy later in the year. In the summer of 1805 Westall went to Madeira and twelve months later to Jamaica. After returning to England he painted a series of water-colour views of the places he had visited and these were shown in a Brook Street gallery and at the Associated Artists' exhibition in 1808. Later he received commissions from the Admiralty to paint nine pictures to illustrate Flinders' A Voyage to Terra Australis … (1814), and was engaged by several London publishers to paint water-colours to be reproduced as aquatints.  

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