Source Drawings

August 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Topographical Drawings (as sources of data)


‘Panorama of Sydney’. by Thomas Woore. 1828.
  • Drawn in front of the Mitchell / State Library.
  • A topographical drawing (like ‘Cook’ etc.‘s ‘Coastal Profile’, it is drawn scientifically, with proper measures). Highly informative.
‘Brambila Sketches’. 1793.
  • Sketched on a Spanish Expedition (1793).
  • Report was supressed.
  • Drawings presented to Lieutenant Governor Paterson.
  • Sent in dispatch to Colonial Office.
  • Forwarded to George III and lost.
  • Published in 1988 in ‘First Views in Australia’.
  • Recognised in Kings Topographical Collection Volume 124, Supplement by Peter Barber.
  • Two Versions; Sydney and Madrid. Tree was aesthetically moved off centre for Madrid, with a non-existent house substitituted in.
  • Hence; images must be interpreted as documents. Maps and images must be interpreted together.
‘Panoramic View of King George’s Sounds’. Robert Dale. 1834.
  • 360 Degree view and text.
  • Royal Geographical Society.
  • Background matches precisely.
  • Foreground visualizes the Aboriginal people and activities.
  • FG also contains a non-existent tree.
  • Dale is constructing a story of fiction and non-fiction, showing the peace, and justifying Yagen’s Head.
Case Study: Grace Karskens on The Rocks.
  • 1809 – Painted in Sydney.
  • 1810 – Engraved in London.
  • The Engraver extended the painting, aesthetically inventing fictional buildings.
  • These ‘early row huts’ were incorrectly referenced by Grace Karskens.
  • Tim McCormick et al. pointed out in First views of Australia 1788-1825, (1987) that ‘the buildings…appear to be the invention of the engraver. They do not appear on any known drawing’.
  • Hence, care must be taken with images, which should be seen as texts.

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