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The River Murray, near Lake Alexandrina
Title : The River Murray, near Lake Alexandrina The River Murray, near Lake Alexandrina
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Creator : Angas, George French, 1822-1886, artist
Source : B 15276/25
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : Thomas McLean
Date of creation : ca. 1846
Additional Creator : Giles, J.W.
Format : Book
Catalogue record
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Description :

Plate 25: The River Murray, near Lake Alexandrina. Part of the text accompanying the illustration reads '... the subject of the annexed plate is taken from the limestone cliffs that border upon the left bank of the river, about halfway between the crossing place at Wirrum, and the junction of the Murray with the Lake. A fine view of the river is obtained from this high ground, from whence the eye may trace its course, winding in a succession of the most graceful sweeps, between vast flats of reeds ... The hills rising from this valley, or basin of the Murray, are clothed with belts of pine; and beyond is an extensive country of scrub. A few scattered gum trees grow along the margin of the river ...'.

Charles Sturt set out from Sydney 3 November 1829 to explore the Murrumbidgee River and determine where it flowed. He discovered that it flowed into another larger river which he named the Murray, and he continued to follow this river downstream to see where it went. By 3 February 1830 the river had made a decided turn to the south, and by 9 February Sturt was convinced some change in the river was at hand. He wrote 'our view to the eastward was very confined; to the westward the interior was low and dark, and was backed in the distance by lofty ranges, parallel to which we had been running for some days. The right bank of the valley was beautifully undulated, but the left was bleak and bare. The valley had a breadth of from three to four miles, and the flats were more extemnsive ... they were scarcely two feet above the level of the water, and were densely covered with reeds.' That same day Sturt's whaleboat entered Lake Alexandrina. He had nearly reached the river's end.

In January 1844 George French Angas arrived in South Australia. Angas was an artist and immediately began travelling around the colony and painting the landscapes. South Australia had only been settled in December 1836. Many of the scenes Angas saw and painted were virtually untouched by the settlers and so were pristine, and is why his artwork is an important record of the South Australian landscape before white settlement.
In his volume of paintings South Australia illustrated Angas wrote of this scene of the River Murray near Lake Alexandrina '... a fine view of the river is obtained from [the] high ground from whence the eye may trace its course, winding in a succession of graceful sweeps, between vast flats of reeds... [the] current is so gentle as at times to be hardly perceptible: deep, and broad, and smooth as a glassy mirror. It flows tranquilly and majestically...'
Related names :

Sturt, Charles, 1795-1869

Angas, George French, 1822-1886

Period : 1836-1851
Region : Riverland and Murraylands
Further reading :

Sturt, Charles, Two expeditions into the interior of southern Australia, during the years 1828, 1829, 1830, and 1831 ... North Adelaide: Corkwood Press, 1999

Langley, Michael, Sturt of the Murray: father of Australian exploration London, Hale, 1969

Tregenza, John, George French Angas, artist, traveller and naturalist, 1822-1886 Adelaide: Art Gallery Board of South Australia, 1980

The Murray edited by Norman Mackay and David Eastburn Canberra: Murray-Darling Basin Commission, 1990

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing. Taking it to the edge August 2004-



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