Augustus Earle (c.1790-c.1839) was the son of James Earle (1761-1796), an American artist. Following his father’s profession, the younger Earle exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy in 1806. He travelled around the world in the first half of the 19th century, visiting almost every continent. On one trip, his ship was marooned on the island of Tristan D’Acunha. He was taken off by another ship on its way to Tasmania, and arrived at Hobart on 18 January 1825. He stayed there for about nine months, then went to Sydney where he lived for about two years.
Earle did much painting in watercolours and obtained commissions for portraits from several of the leading colonists. In 1827 he sent a set of eight paintings of Sydney to London to be used for Robert Burford’s panorama of Sydney. In 1830 he published Views in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, Australian Scrap Book. The eight views were all of New South Wales subjects and are important early views of the growing colony of New South Wales. Earle died between 1838 and 1840.
Pictured is ‘Government House, and part of the town of Sydney’, from Augustus Earle, Views in New South Wales and Van Diemens Land: Australian Scrap Book, London: J. Cross, 1830, lithograph, printed in black ink, from one stone, 19.8 x 28.8 cm (printed image (trimmed)). Special Collections, University of Melbourne.