Michael Rosenthal – Augustus Earle: Seeing Straight



Event Date: 25 November 2015
Clore Auditorium,
Tate Britain
London SW1P 4RG

Tate Britain and the School of Arts at Birkbeck University of London present:

Artist and Empire: The Long Nineteenth Century

Michael Rosenthal (Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Warwick) – Augustus Earle: Seeing Straight

Augustus Earle felt no need to filter or edit his written or painted accounts of the phenomena and events he experienced as he roamed the globe.  His comparing the tatooing of  the Maroi, Aranghie, to the portraits of Sir Thomas Lawrence and including each amongst the ‘fine arts’ is testament to that, besides being extremely unusual in its time.  After accidentally ending up in Australia in 1825, at the start of the Darling era, he spent the next two-and-a-half years painting varieties of subjects, including some – chained convicts – that others ignored.  The Darling governorship rejected Lachlan Macquarie’s enlightened policies towards the penal colony (maintained in the interim by Sir Thomas Brisbane) and Earle’s complex and fascinating snapshot of New South Wales at this period will be the subject of this paper.


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