This painting is possibly the earliest and quite definitely the best colonial oil painting of Sydney. Attributed to the Scottish convict artist, Thomas Watling, it was painted in 1797 and was sold in November, 1976 at Sotheby’s London for the equivalent of $44,300.
The buyer was Sydney antique dealer, J. B. Hawkins, who has been inspired by the paintings almost photographic clarity, to investigate this period of Sydney’s early history through patient study of the available historical records. His research has not only revealed the topographical accuracy of the painting but also provides a fascinating insight into life in the early years of the colony. Terry Ingram, Financial Review.
The article relating to this painting will be added soon.