C1887

Untitled (Ostrich Farm near Port Augusta.)

Original water colour illustration by Frank Prout Mahony, signed and date lower left, for the published wood engraved illustration in volume 2, page 548 of  The Picturesque Atlas of Australia, edited by Garran. Of the more than six hundred original … Read Full Description

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S/N: PAINT-1887-MAH–218252
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Details

Full Title:

Untitled (Ostrich Farm near Port Augusta.)

Date:

C1887

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Original watercolour highlighted in white, signed and dated lower left

Image Size: 

357mm 
x 250mm
AUTHENTICITY
Untitled (Ostrich Farm near Port Augusta.) - Antique Painting from 1887

Genuine antique
dated:

1887

Description:

Original water colour illustration by Frank Prout Mahony, signed and date lower left, for the published wood engraved illustration in volume 2, page 548 of  The Picturesque Atlas of Australia, edited by Garran. Of the more than six hundred original watercolours or drawings used for the illustrations, very few of these have survived or are recorded as being the primary images for the subsequent illustrations. The Picturesque Atlas of Australia was the most ambitious publishing venture in colonial Australia with over 100,000 copies printed in its various issues.

To capitalise on the use of ostrich feathers in the fashion industry, the South Australian Government in 1882, had offered leasehold land on the condition that at least 50 birds for every 1000 acres were kept. In 1883 Frank Bignell and W. Campbell started an Ostrich farm with a small number of birds 13km from Port Augusta.

Sold with the published engraving.

Exhibihited: A Nation Imagined: The Artists of the Picturesque Atlas National Library of Australia
12 March 2021 to 11 July 2021

Frank Mahony (1862–1916)
Ostrich Farm near Port Augusta 1887
pencil, monochrome gouache and wash on card on Nukunu Country
preparatory drawing for the engraving Ostrich Farm near Port Augusta
in Picturesque Atlas of Australasia April 1888
Antique Print and Map Room, Sydney

Frank Prout Mahony (1862 - 1916)

Mahony was born in Melbourne and christened Francis, Mahony later adding Prout and generally signed his work Frank P. Mahony. The family moved to Sydney when he was 10 and he was first employed in an architect's office. He studied under Giulio Anivitti at the New South Wales Academy of Art and he came to prominence through his work on the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia. Two of his contributions, the spearing of Edmund Kennedy and E. J. Eyre's struggle along the coast with the faithful Wylie, became part of the legendary of Australian exploration. From the Centenary until Federation, Mahony was one of the best-known Australian artists and illustrators, specialising in horses. His oils included 'Rounding up a Straggler' (1889), which possibly influenced Tom Roberts, and 'The Cry of the Mothers' (1895); both were bought by the National Art Gallery of New South Wales. More significant was his black-and-white work contributed to such journals as the Sydney Mail, the Bulletin and the Australian Town and Country Journal. In 1893 he illustrated A. B. Paterson's poem The Geebung Polo Club. Mahony was a founding council member in 1895 of the breakaway Society of Artists, an instructor at the Art Society of New South Wales, and a member of the Dawn and Dusk Club. After his death at the Kensington Infirmary on 28 June 1916, a memorial to 'our first Australian born artist' was erected 'by Australian admirers' at Mahony's grave in Hanwell cemetery, Middlesex.

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