Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sydney Parkinson & J. F. Miller - Banksia Serrata

Banksia Serrata - Original Engraving by Sydney Parkinson (1770) 
& Water Colour Painting by J. F. Miller (1773) 
Australian Pre-Stamped Envelope Issued in 1986
Watercolour held at the British Museum (Natural History Unit), London

Sydney Parkinson was an artist who created a prolific number of engravings aboard James Cook's Endeavour during its voyage to Australia and the Pacific in the 1770s.  This is an image of one of Australia's most instantly recognisable and distinctive plants, being the Banksia.   The banksia was named after Joseph Banks, who was also a member of this voyage.  The image was originally designed as an engraving, which was later developed into a watercolour once the voyagers had returned back to London.

Sydney Parkinson's work provided us with a large number of images that document European first impressions of the Australian continent.  He was depicted on a stamp in 1984.

This is one of the earliest examples of European based art in Australia - the primary interest of one of documenting new scientific discoveries.  

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