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  • Title
    [Blue Mountains, ca. 1815-1816] / watercolour drawings by John William Lewin
  • Creator
  • Call number
    PXE 888
  • Level of description
  • Date

    ca. 1815-1816
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    16 watercolours (3 boxes) - 24.5 x 29.7 cm or smaller

    John William Lewin (1770-1819) was primarily a natural history artist and collector. In April 1815, Lewin accompanied Governor Macquarie's expedition over the Blue Mountains to assess the Bathurst Plains for agricultural and pastoral merit. Lewin recorded the journey in 21 watercolour drawings, of which 15 are held in this series. Amongst the group was Major Henry Colden Antill who made a deal with Lewin to provide a copy of his journal in exchange for copies of Lewin's watercolours. This set is the one that belonged to Antill. The journal numbers the watercolours throughout with a titled and numbered list supplied at the back. One watercolour view is described but unnumbered (May 2).

    Major Antill's, "Journal of an excursion over the Blue or Western Mountains of New South Wales to visit a tract of new discovered Country, [25 April-19 May] 1815", is available at ML Safe 1/20a (microfilm CY265) Mitchell Library
  • Scope and Content
    Illustrations of a tour across the Blue Mountains in 1815 with Governor Macquarie. These were later used to illustrate Antill's diary. This collection was re-arranged in 2002 to correspond to Antill's Journal.

    1a. Emu Ford
    51 x 33 cm.
    1b. Emu Ford
    24.6 x 29.9 cm.
    1c. [Backing sheet]
    24.5 x 29.9 cm.

    2. Spring Wood [i.e. Springwood]
    22.1 x 27 cm.

    3. Jamieson's Valley
    23.5 x 27.5 cm.

    4. Pitt's Amphitheatre
    24.5 x 29.5 cm.

    5. The Vale of Clwyd
    22.5 x 27 cm.
    Previously titled Cox's Pass

    6. Cox's Pass
    25 x 30.5 cm

    7. [Cox's Pass with expedition resting]
    22 x 27 cm.
    Previously titled Campbell's River

    8. [Cox's Pass. View of camp beside Cox's River]
    21.1 x 25.5 cm.
    Previously titled Sidmouth Valley

    9. Cox's River
    23 x 22.4 cm.

    10. Cox's River
    [not held]

    11. Evan's Peak
    22.8 x 27 cm.

    12. The Fish River
    [not held]

    13a. Sydmouth [i.e. Sidmouth] Valley [with emus in foreground]
    25 x 30.2 cm.
    13b. [Sidmouth Valley showing Macquarie River]
    22.5 x 27.5 cm.

    14. Campbell River
    22 x 27 cm.

    15. Macquarie River [showing Grand Depot]
    22 x 27.8 cm.
    Previously titled Bathurst Plains

    16. Bathurst Plains
    [not held]

    17-18. Natives
    [not held]

    19. The Plains [showing Governor Macquarie's Tent]
    [not held]

    20. The Plains
    23 x 27.2 cm.
  • Access Conditions

    Access to this pictures collection via appointment only. Please submit your request through Ask a Librarian
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright:
    Please acknowledge:: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • Published Information
    PXE 888/11 published in : Artonview, Issue no. 75, Spring 2013 – article on the 'Australia' exhibition at the Royal Academy, London
  • General note

    Transferred from SVIB/BLU M/1-15 Mitchell Library, 2002

    The watercolours may be viewed as individual works and as a panorama as they document the expedition's progression over the Blue Mountains to the Bathurst Plains.

    In 1987, during a conservation treatment of No.1a Emu Ford, a second watercolour (No.1b), 22.4 x 27.5 cm., on paper 24.6 x 29.5 cm., was found pasted between the first watercolour and a backing sheet. This watercolour, possibly not by Lewin, is a similar view to the first, though not as detailed in its execution, nor is it signed or dated. The title "Emu Ford" is inscribed beneath the image in the same hand as that on the first watercolour.

    At an unknown date a non-contemporaneous piece was inserted into the lower edge of No.6 to replace a missing piece. This was removed by SLNSW Preservation Branch in 1997 and is fixed to the reverse of the mount.

    No.9 appears as Fish River in: "The Opening of the Road Across the Blue Mountains. An authentic copy of the diary of Governor Macquarie's Journey across the New Road..." / Frank Walker (editor), Q991.5/1A1 Mitchell Library

    Photographic prints, printed in 2002, from negatives FM2/12 taken c. 1948 are filed at PXA 987
    Digital order no:Album ID : 823892
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    No.5 and No.13a are signed in lower right "J.W. Lewin". No.5 is dated 1816

    Most of the drawings are unsigned and undated. Nos.1a, 1b, 3, 4, and 5 are titled in a later hand below image. No.6 has a partially visible printed title "...rse of the Pass". Nos. 3, 7, and 15 have inaccurate printed titles that are not contemporary with Lewin.

    No.13a is the unnumbered view refered to in Antill's diary and is titled below image
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