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View of proposed site of Adelaide
Title : View of proposed site of Adelaide View of proposed site of Adelaide
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Creator : Light, William, 1786-1839, artist
Source : B 10079
Date of creation : ca. 1837
Additional Creator : Havell, Robert 1769-1832, [attributed to]
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 545 x 400 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Coloured lithograph, drawn by William Light and engraved by Robert Havell, of 'A View of the Country and of the Temporary Erections near the Site for the Proposed Town of Adelaide, in South Australia. Forming the First of a Series of Views of that Colony now preparing for Publication'. The drawing features several settlers' homes and tents, a hay cart drawn by two oxen, and several groups of settlers and Aboriginal people in the foreground, with the bush and Adelaide Hills in the background.

In addition to being a soldier, explorer and surveyor, Colonel William Light has been recognised as a skilled artist. During his travels as Surveyor-General of South Australia, he recorded scenes in the new colony with pencil and watercolour sketches.

In January 1836 Light was appointed Surveyor-General of South Australia. Light sailed from England in May in the brig Rapid, and arrived in South Australia in the following August. The South Australian Company had sent ahead some ships to Kangaroo Island to engage in whaling, and carrying a limited number of settlers; The Duke of York arrived at Nepean Bay on 27 July 1836.

After first visiting Encounter Bay, Light sailed to Nepean Bay, arriving on 20 August. In his journal he recorded that he went ashore on 22 August where '...Mr Beare and a few others had pitched their tents...'. Light made a rough sketch of 'Mr Beare's tents, Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island' in his notebook (click to see sketch). By April 1839 Light had completed this artwork from the earlier sketch.

Robert Havell (1769-1832) has been attributed to making this work after Light, but Havell died in 1832.

Coverage year : 1837
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Adelaide and Adelaide Hills
Region : Adelaide city,Adelaide metropolitan area
Further reading :

Dutton, Geoffrey. Colonel William Light: founder of a city, Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1991

Elder, David. Art of William Light, Adelaide: Corporation of the City of Adelaide in association with Wakefield Press, 1987

Light, William. William Light's brief journal and Australian diaries with an introduction and notes by David Elder, Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1984

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