|About the Book|
Augustus Earle (1793-1838) was born to travel and to paint. Living at the very end of the age before photography, he was one of the most irrepressible travel artists the world had seen. Spirited, restless, an accomplished writer as well as anMoreAugustus Earle (1793-1838) was born to travel and to paint. Living at the very end of the age before photography, he was one of the most irrepressible travel artists the world had seen. Spirited, restless, an accomplished writer as well as an exhibitor (from the age of thirteen) at the Royal Academy in London, his ideal was to be the recorder of places hitherto unvisited by any artist. His life encompassed voyages to the Mediterranean, South America, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia and India, a sojourn of eight months as a castaway on Tristan da Cunha, and an expedition in the Beagle during which he befriended the young Charles Darwin.The largest collection of works by Earle, 168 pictures, is in the National Library of Australia, Canberra. The major part of this resource is a series of 161 watercolours and drawings acquired in 1959 from Mr (later Sir) Rex Nan Kivell (1898-1977) of the Redfern Gallery, London, whose unrivalled private collection of pictures, manuscripts and printed material relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific is now in the National Library. The series, which was once in a folio scrapbook, was probably intended by Earle to be the basis of a volume illustrating his travels. Nearly a century and a half later, his purpose is fulfilled.Because of the worldwide scope of Earles work and its appeal to historical and artistic interest, the National Library of Australia commissioned the present study- the Library has a policy that the treasures of its collections should be shared as widely as possible, by publication and other means. The author, Jocelyn Hackforth-Jones, had made a study of Earle while an honours student in the Power Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney, under Professor Bernard Smith. She is now a member of the staff of the Power Institute. An extended introduction deals with Earles life, the sources of his style, his place in topographical art, and his relationship to the Romantic Movement. This is followed by a section of plates in which all 168 of the National Librarys Earles are illustrated, with detailed annotations. Sixteen characteristic paintings are also reproduced in colour.