23.5cm x 28.5cm
A sense of awe swept through natural history circles in eighteenth-century London when the first ships returned from Sydney with their cargo of exotic animals, birds and plants - and striking watercolour illustrations. The sudden emergence, in 2011, of a large number of these watercolour illustrations has revealed much about the early years of the colony. In Natural Curiosity, Louise Anemaat uncovers never-before-published works from the artists of the First Fleet, including convicts-turned-water colourists Thomas Watling and John Doody, and the anonymous 'Port Jackson Painter'. She unravels the complex network of natural history collectors who spanned the globe - eagerly acquiring, copying and exchanging these artworks - from New South Wales Surgeon-General John White to passionate British collector Aylmer Bourke Lambert.