Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    [Corroboree at Newcastle / oil painting by Joseph Lycett]
  • Creator
  • Call number
    DG 228
  • Level of description
  • Date

    ca. 1818
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    1 painting - 70.5 x 122.4 cm panel. - oil
  • Source
    Presented by Sir William Dixson, June 1938
  • Access Conditions

    Access to this pictures collection via appointment only. Please submit your request through Ask a Librarian
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright: Artist died before 1955.
    Please acknowledge: : Dixson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales
  • General note

    This painting is attributed to Joseph Lycett, although it has often said to have been by Major James Wallis, on the grounds of its comparative closeness to a plate in Wallis's "Australian Views" "Corrobborree of dance of the Natives of New South Wales New Holland".

    Stylistically it accords with Lycett's watercolour album in the National Library "Drawings of the natives & scenery of Van Diemens Land, 1830" : see plates such as "Aborigines resting by camp fire, near the mouth of the Hunter River, Newcastle, N.S.W". It also resembles plates in his publication "Views in Australia", London, 1824

    The frame on this work appears to have been put on it by Sir William Dixson after he purchased it from A.H. Spencer in September 1937: see Spencer to Dixson 26 August 1937 DL Mss Add 889. The frame, however, probably dates from the mid-nineteenth century.
    Spencer possibly purchased this painting from the Museum Book Store 19 August 1937 for 22 pounds, where it was described as "Painting of a Corrobborree on a panel" : see State Library of Victoria A.H. Spencer papers MSS 12361 Box 3167/3 invoices 1929-1937 (Mitchell Library microfilm copy at MAV/FM4/10778-10779)

    It has often been said that the wooden support panel is cedar, but it has not proved possible to confirm this, and doubts must attach to this attribution
    Digital order no:Album ID : 823499
    Painting is on a single wooden panel, on obverse of which is a damaged painting of a composition of what appears to have once been a reclining figure (now erased), curtains, flowers and a distant landscape. Panel is possibly oak. Panel is primed by a coarse white lead, probably not artist quality. Paints are commercially prepared oil paints. There are three sets of double holes along top edge with remains of a brass hinge and wooden screws at upper right. Holes and abrasions on bottom edge suggest two catches mounted along this edge. Panel is 1.4 cm thick.
  • Subject
  • Topic
  • Place
  • Exhibited in
    New Worlds from Old: 19th century Australian & American landscapes
    Australian Colonial Art
    The City Unfolds
    Pride of place
    Joseph Lycett : convict artist
    Landfall : the Captain James Cook bicentenary exhibition of Australian art
    Curious Colony: a twenty first century Wunderkammer
    Art Gallery of South Australia
    Treasures of Newcastle from the Macquarie Era

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