The Art of the First Fleet
September 1, 2005 9:44 PM   Subscribe

The Art of the First Fleet : On 13 May 1787, eleven ships, now commonly referred to as The First Fleet, set sail from Portsmouth to establish a colony in New South Wales, Australia. One of the unplanned but long-lasting outcomes of this event was the large number of outstanding drawings of aboriginal people, the environment and wildlife found on arrival as well as of the early foundation of the colony.
posted by dhruva (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've heard the phenomenon described but I'm not sure if it has a name: A lot of the early artists painted the landscape and flora with a typical British feel.

It took quite a few years for a distinctive Australian flavour to emerge where, say, eucalypt trees actually looked like eucalypt trees and not oak trees!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:37 PM on September 1, 2005

One of the first artists to really start seeing the Australian landscape and painting it accurately was von Geruard.

It's a depressing fact that the first linked picture is of a quoll, now almost entirely extinct
posted by wilful at 10:44 PM on September 1, 2005

Oh, for a "Natural History" Museum, it's rather pathetic that they can say "70% of the mammals to be found in Australia in 1788 are now extinct." That, I'm afraid, is codswallop. We've lost 20 - 22 mammal species, which is too many, but only a small fraction of the ~350 endemics we have.
posted by wilful at 10:52 PM on September 1, 2005

Sailor caught stealing stash?
posted by tellurian at 12:18 AM on September 2, 2005

You mean finding.
posted by fleacircus at 2:26 AM on September 2, 2005

Present point taken fleacircus :) Terra nullius my arse.
posted by tellurian at 5:02 AM on September 2, 2005

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