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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
Contributor : State Library catalogue
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 extensive ... 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 immediately began travelling around the colony and painting the landscapes. South Australia had only been settled in December 1836, and many of the scenes Angas saw and painted were pristine and virtually untouched by the settlers. His artwork is an important record of the South Australian landscape before white settlement.

In his volume of artworks entitled South Australia illustrated Angas wrote 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...

George French Angas (1822-1886), naturalist and painter, was born on 25 April 1822 at Newcastle upon Tyne, England, fourth child and eldest son of George Fife Angas of the South Australian Company and his wife Rosetta, née French. He sailed for Australia in 1843 in the Augustus, reached Adelaide in January 1844, and joined Grey on his expedition and his paintings, published several years later in South Australia illustrated and form a valuable record of the South Australian landscape before it was much changed by white settlement.

Angas remained in South Australia until July when he left for New Zealand. He returned to South Australia in January 1845 and remained for six months. During these visits to South Australia Angas went with William Giles to the area in the vicinity of the mouth of the River Murray, and with Governor (Sir) George Grey to the south-east of the province, Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln. These journeys Angas recorded in water-colour drawings which were shown in Adelaide in June 1845 in the Legislative Council chamber.

Related names :

Sturt, Charles, 1795-1869

Angas, George French, 1822-1886

Coverage year : 1846
Period : 1836-1851
Place : River Murray, South Australia
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

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

Angas, G.F. South Australia illustrated London : Thomas M'Lean, 1847

Colwell, M and Alan Naylor. Adelaide: an illustrated history, [Joslin, S. Aust.]: McP, 1981

Insights into South Australian history, volume 2: South Australia's German history and heritage, Harmstorf, Ian A. ed, Adelaide: Historical Society of South Australia, 1992-

Kwan, Elizabeth. Living in South Australia: a social history, Netley, S. Aust.: South Australian Government Printer, 1987

Migration Museum. From many places: the history and cultural traditions of South Australian people, Kent Town, S. Aust.: Migration Museum (History Trust of S.A.) in association with Wakefield Press, 1995

Whitley, Gilbert P. Conchologists of the past. 2, George French Angas. [Melbourne?: Malacological Society of Australia?, 1969?]

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

Internet links :

University of Adelaide Online Books: Two expeditions into the interior of southern Australia during the years 1828,1829,1830,1831 with observations on the soil, climate and general resources of the Colony of New South Wales by Charles Sturt.

SA Memory, Taking it to the edge - exploration in South Australia

Dictionary of Australian biography (Gutenberg) see Charles Sturt, and George French Angas

Charles Sturt Memorial Trust and Museum

Angas, George French Bright Sparcs

Treasures of the State Library of South Australia: South Australia illustrated by George French Angas

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition: Search for George French Angas and Sir George Grey

Pictures Catalogue National Library of Australia


State Library of South Australia, General Information Factsheets Online: South Australian Company

SA Memory, Foundation of South Australia 1880-1851, Deed of Settlement

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