fig. 5 
Joseph Lycett

In an article in Seddon & Davis’s Man and Landscape in Australia, Daniel Thomas wrote, ‘In Joseph Lycett’s engraved Views in Australia,1J. Lycett, Views in Australia: or New South Wales & Van Diemen’s Land delineated in Fifty Views with Descriptive Letterpress …, J. Souter, London, 1824–25, subsequently cited as Views in Australia. the pastoral landscape, embellished with homesteads, stockmen and sometimes bushrangers, is established as a theme in Australian Art.’2D. Thomas, ‘Visual Images’, in George Seddon & Mari Davis (eds), Man and Landscape in Australia, Canberra, 1976, p. 158. For those who are not Australian or who have had little contact with Australia, a statement such as this might cause confusion. ‘Pastoral’ used in the way that Mr Thomas has used it, at least as I understand it, may make sense only in an Australian context. This is because, in Australia, the word ‘pastoral’, and derivations of it such as pastoralism and pastoralist, have particular meanings, meanings which appear not to exist in quite the same way in English spoken in other cultures.3The Oxford Dictionary notes specifically the Australian usage of pastoralist as ‘a sheep farmer, a squatter’ (Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, U.S.A., 1971, p. 2095). In Australia pastoral’s primary meaning is of, or related to, the large-scale grazing of animals. This form of land use took place on an extensive scale and accounted for considerable economic activity in Australia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and, according to a number of historians, contributed to the development of distinctive cultural patterns.4Russel Ward’s The Australian Legend, Melbourne, 1958, sought an explanation for what he identified as Australian cultural stereotypes in the life and manners of nineteenth-century workers in the pastoral industry. Ward’s thesis had a profound effect upon Australian historiography over the following decades. The Australian Legend was not seriously challenged until 1970, when Humphrey McQueen questioned Ward’s idea of, in his words, ‘a natural socialist ethos’ amongst bush workers, a criticism which Ward later defended. Historians who have responded critically to Ward include Graeme Davison, who argues for the importance of urban experience in forging cultural patterns in Australia, and J. B. Hirst, who emphasises the role of the pioneer selector over Ward’s itinerant workers. See H. McQueen, A New Britannia, Ringwood, Vic., 1970, p. 12; G. Davison, ‘Sydney and the Bush: An Urban Context for the Australian Legend’, Historical Studies 18, 71, October 1978, pp. 191–209; J. B. Hirst, ‘The Pioneer Legend’, Historical Studies 18, 71, October 1978, pp. 316–37; R. Ward, ‘The Australian Legend Revisited’, Historical Studies 18, 71, October 1978, pp. 171–90. See Asa Briggs’s discussion of The Australian Legend in his Victorian Cities, London, 1963, pp. 292–4. Because of this, perhaps, ‘pastoral’ takes on special meaning in Australian culture, and is used in a particular way by writers in Australia. It is used as a general term to describe rural life and the traditions and literature which surround it. Writers may therefore refer to the ‘pastoral tradition’, to the ‘pastoral myth’ or to ‘pastoral life’, and not have in mind the literary forms which we associate with Virgil but ones which they associate with ‘the bush’.5For example, ‘it was not until this pastoral myth was fully established that the historians, accepting it wholly, ventured into the field’, and further ‘Moribund or not, the pastoral tradition still seemed the authentic Australian legend, and the wool industry the major dynamic of Australia’s economic growth’, G. Bolton, ‘The Historian as Artist and Interpreter of the Environment’, Seddon & Davis, op. cit., pp. 116, 17. 

In the same way, when art historians in Australia refer to the pastoral landscape, they often mean landscapes which describe activities associated with farming and with life in the Australian bush.6Rural landscapes may be simply described as ‘bush landscapes’ or ‘bush pictures’, as they are, for example, by Ian Burn in his essay entitled ‘Beating about the Bush, the Landscapes of the Heidelberg School’, in A. Bradley & T. Smith (eds), Australian Art and Architecture: Essays Presented to Bernard Smith, Melbourne, 1980, pp. 83–98. Pastoral, clearly, may also be used in relationship to the Australian landscape in ways more closely associated with some of pastoral’s literary meanings. Patrick McCaughey, in discussing a series of works painted by Arthur Boyd for example, wrote: ‘The scruffy, unpicturesque nature of the bush is emphasised quite differently from both the pastoral or paradisal iconography of earlier Boyd landscapes and the purgatorial or infernal landscape of the Nude and Beast or Nebuchadnezzar series’, ‘The Artist in Extremis, 1972–3’, in Bradley & Smith, op. cit., p. 211. When Daniel Thomas refers to Lycett as establishing the pastoral landscape as a theme in Australian art he is casting his gaze forward to the landscapes of Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and the group which surrounded them, and looking for evidence of the appearance of the rural subject matter upon which so much attention has been focused by writers on the art of the late nineteenth century. 

In this article I want to argue that, as well as the particular subject matter identified by Daniel Thomas, to which we might add the shepherds and sheep of the View of Tasman’s Peak (fig. 1), there appear in a number of Lycett’s engravings some of the conventions associated with the pastoral tradition in European literature and painting. In Lycett’s Views in Australia a new framework emerges in the use of visual language which, while it is related to the new subject matter, is nevertheless separate from it. In the engravings, especially in those which take private property as their subject, a new image of the relationship between Europeans and the land in colonial Australia develops. In Lycett’s Views in Australia Europeans are seen to be in harmony with a fertile land, a land which has been ordered by them and in which they are able to experience leisure. It is this new image of man in harmony with a bountiful nature which I wish to discuss and account for, both in relation to nineteenth-century versions of the pastoral and to the ‘conditions of the moment’, the directions which British settlement was taking in Australia during the third decade of the nineteenth century.7My use of the term pastoral derives in part from John Barren’s discussion of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English poetry and painting. See in particular his essay on John Constable in The Dark Side of the Landscape, Cambridge, 1980, pp. 131–64. See also Ρ. Alpers, ‘What Is Pastoral?’, Critical Inquiry 8, Spring 1982, pp. 437–60; and B. Snell, ‘Arcadia, the Discovery of a Spiritual Landscape’, The Discovery of the Mind, Cambridge, Mass., 1953, pp. 281–309. 

In Lycett’s engravings the land for the first time is presented in a distinctly positive way. Both the text and the engravings develop a picture of European life in Australia as prosperous. This represents a departure from accounts in earlier histories, journals and emigrants’ handbooks which tended toward a less optimistic view.8See Β. Smith, European Vision and the South Pacific, London, 1960, pp. 158–76; A. Mitchell, ‘Fiction’, in L. Kramer (ed.), The Oxford History of Australian Literature, London, 1981, pp. 29–31. The new optimism of Lycett’s volume is best understood in the context of changing attitudes towards Australia. When the Views in Australia was published, the settlements in Australia were beginning to be seen, not primarily as places for the dumping of felons but as developing free colonies which needed a free emigrant population.9F. G. Clarke regards this attitude as well established by the late 1820s. See his The Land of Contrarieties: British Attitudes to Australia 1828–1855, Melbourne, 1977, p. 78. The volume appeared at the moment when the Australian colonies were emerging from their original function as penal settlements and were moving towards becoming free settler societies, a course upon which they were firmly set following the reforms generated by the Bigge Reports.10Criticism of the colonial administration on a variety of fronts led to Bigge’s enquiry into the running and future of the Australian colonies. He produced three reports, the most extensive and important of which is The Report of the Commissioner of Enquiry into the Colony of New South Wales, London, June 1822; see J. Ritchie, Punishment and Profit, Melbourne, 1970. The establishment of a legislature and judiciary and the introduction of trial by jury which followed the Forbes Act of 1823, the introduction of a system of means testing in the allocation of land and convict labour which favoured well-to-do emigrants, the opening up of land outside the Cumberland Plain, the reduction of the tariff on colonial wool, were all measures which sought to recognise the power of the developing free population of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, to promote the emerging pastoral industry, and to encourage emigration to Australia.11S. Morrissey, ‘The Pastoral Economy 1821–1850’, in James Griffin (ed.), Essays in Economic History of Australia, Sydney, 1970, p. 62; R. Auchmuty, ‘1810–1830’, in F. K. Crowley (ed.), A New History of Australia, Melbourne, 1971, pp. 74–6. The reforms of the mid-1820s represented an attempt on behalf of the home government to reconcile the needs of a gaol and of a free community and to move towards establishing some of the apparatus of liberal government demanded by early colonial nationalists, such as Edgar Eagar, John Macarthur and William Charles Wentworth.12N. D. McLachlan, ‘Edward Eagar, 1787–1866: A Colonial Spokesman in Sydney and London’, Historical Studies 10, 40, May 1963, pp. 401–56. 

In 1819 Wentworth, who was living in London, published a history of British settlement in Australia, which looked towards intending emigrants as its audience.13W. C. Wentworth, A Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales and its Dependent Settlements in Van Diemen’s Land with a Particular Enumeration of the Advantages which these Colonies offer for Emigration and their Superiority in Many Respects over those possessed by the United States of America, London, 1819. According to Wentworth’s own account, he wrote the book ‘to promote the welfare and prosperity of the country which gave him birth’, an aim which he thought he could best achieve by ‘attempting to divert from the United States of America to its shores, some of the vast tide of immigration which is at present flowing thither from all parts of the world.’14ibid, p. vi. The first sections of the text are given over to describing the main areas of settlement in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, the type of land use which each supported, and other information of particular interest to the emigrant, such as the means of transport which the settler required to reach the area. In his writing Wentworth uses pastoral land use as a metaphor for civilisation, making an early connection between pastoralism and culture in Australian literature. He writes of the land around Bathurst: ‘an endless variety of hill and dale clothed in the most luxuriant herbage and covered with bleating flocks and lowing herds indicate that you are in regions fit to be inhabited by civilised man.’15ibid, p. 47. In drawing attention to the pastoral potential of the land and in calling for reforms in the colonial administration the book reflected the ideas of the prominent pastoralist, John Macarthur. Macarthur claimed his influence in a letter to one of his sons, wryly describing Wentworth’s reference to him as ‘very obliging and no doubt I suppose, intended as payment for the free use he has thought proper to make of my plans for the reformation of the colony.’16Macarthur to John Macarthur Jr, 28 February 1820, p. 5, Letters of John Macarthur to his sons 1815–32, Macarthur Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney. 

When Lycett and his publishers were preparing their volume they drew heavily upon Wentworth’s history, using it perhaps as a model for Views in Australia.17Other sources referred to in the text include: [A. Phillip], The Voyage of Governor Arthur Phillip to Botany Bay, London, 1789; D. Collins, Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, London, 1789; G. Evans, Geographical, Historical and Topographical Description of Van Diemen’s Land, London, 1822; J. Oxley, Journal of Two Expeditions to the Interior of New South Wales, 1817–1818, London, 1820. The Views adopts the format of the early sections of the book, discussing areas in a similar order, paraphrasing large sections of the text, and even taking material verbatim.18There appears to have been a good deal of borrowing of material amongst writers of this kind of literature in Australia during this period. Evans’s Geographical, Historical and Topographical Description of Van Diemen’s Land, London, 1822, and Jeffrey’s Geographical & Descriptive Delineation of the Island of Van Diemen’s Land, London, 1820, also borrowed from Wentworth. See E. Morris Miller, ‘An Unrecorded Hobart Town Gazette’, Tasmanian Historical Research Association Papers 7, 4, June 1959, pp. 59–65. Lycett and Wentworth addressed the same audience and reflect one another in style and point of view. Both, for example, celebrate the out-of-favour Macquarie through deliberate and favourable reference to him in the text.19The combination of a series of engraved views with a narrative history follows the practice of volumes of exotic views of the period. See, for example, J. Hakewill, Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, London, 1824. 

All of the main areas explored and settled by the British in south-eastern Australia to 1822, including some of the more recently explored regions, provide subjects for the Views.20Lake George, discovered by Joseph Wilde in August 1821, for example, is included as a subject. See J. Jervis, ‘The Wingeecaribee and Southern Highland District’, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal 23, 4, 1937, p. 256. In New South Wales the engravings encompass an area bordered by Port Macquarie in the north, Bathurst in the west and Lake George in the south. The Tasmanian views cover the north-eastern and south-eastern fertile strip of the island and Macquarie Harbour in the south-west. The engravings move roughly from centres of settlement to outlying areas, reflecting patterns of settlement and the progress of the traveller. In this sense the volume may be read as a map.21The Views were originally published in sets of four, each containing two of New South Wales and two of Van Diemen’s Land. They appeared in a different order from the one adopted for the volume. See C. Craig, Old Tasmanian Prints, Launceston, 1964, pp. 39–62. 

Following his return to London from New South Wales after serving nine years of a fourteen-year sentence for forgery,22For biographical details see my entry on Lycett in J. Kerr (ed.), The Dictionary of Australian Artists, Working Paper 2 (forthcoming). Lycett made a set of drawings which he based on his own sketches and on drawings and engravings of other artists working in Australia.23Two sets of drawings may have been produced in preparation for the engraving process. A set of thirteen drawings by Lycett which came from the Earl of Derby’s library and which are now in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, may have been produced for the volume, although only nine of the thirteen are close to the engravings in the Views. Twenty-four of the final working drawings were auctioned at Sotheby’s in London in 1962. These were purchased by a private collector in Melbourne. Twelve of the group reappeared at auction in Melbourne in June 1978, and were purchased by major public art galleries and museums throughout Australia. The Woolloomooloo drawing in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria is one of these. The places which he chose as subjects for his Tasmanian views compare with those which appear on the itinerary of Macquarie’s tour of inspection of the island in 1821.24L. Macquarie, ‘Journal of a Voyage and Tour of Inspection to Van Diemen’s Land, 1821’, Macquarie’s Journals of his Tours in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, Mitchell Library edition, Sydney, 1979, pp. 169–202. There is no evidence to suggest that Lycett accompanied the party or that he ever visited Tasmania, and it is probable that he obtained the drawings upon which he based his own from either George Evans or James Taylor, both of whom accompanied Macquarie.25Rex and Thea Reinits have pointed out the similarities between Lycett’s View of Bathurst Falls and the engraving of the same title in Oxley’s Journal of Two Expeditions to the Interior of New South Wales 1817–1818, London, 1822, opposite p. 300. This view was engraved, according to Oxley, from a drawing by Taylor based upon a sketch by Evans. See R. & T. Reinits, Early Artists of Australia, Sydney, 1963, p. 188. 

Six of the views of the Sydney area are of private estates, and it is these which I will now consider in the light of the arguments I initially proposed. These six engravings are the first series of views of private property to be published.26A series of miniature pen and ink drawings executed in the early 1820s of church, state and private property in and around Sydney is held in the Mitchell Library. The series was copied and engraved by Edward Mason and published by the government printer in the early 1890s following Henry Parkes’s interest in them as records of the early colonial landscape. The original drawings were probably by Lycett. See letter, Parkes to Potter, 22 April 1822, cat. no. 6257, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney. Four of the six estates chosen by Lycett belonged to men who had become powerful in New South Wales through their involvement in pastoral enterprise and trade. Two of the estates, Raby and Burwood Villa, belonged to Alexander Riley, Woolloomooloo* to Edward Riley, and another, Elizabeth Farm, to the Macarthurs. The remaining two belonged to John Piper, a civil servant, and to James Squire, a successful emancipist. 

When Lycett chose Woolloomooloo as a subject for his views it was owned by Edward Riley. Riley, one of Macquarie’s circle, was appointed to the magistracy by him in 1817, and to the influential Committee of the Bank of New South Wales a year later. Before arriving in the colony he ran a trading company in Calcutta, and between 1811 and 1814 supplied his brother Alexander, already in the colony, with the goods which he required for his importing business in Sydney. Letters exchanged between the two brothers during this period discuss the possibility of growing and exporting wool. By 1830 the Rileys were breeding the finest wool in the colony and winning prizes on that account.27J. Conway, ‘Merchants and Merinos’, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal 46, 1960, pp. 208–12. 

In 1816 Edward joined his brother Alexander in New South Wales, establishing himself and his family at Woolloomooloo. The house was built almost twenty years earlier by John Palmer, the colony’s commissary, between 1791 and 1811. It was one of the first private residences to attract the attention of artists, and appears first in a small drawing by John Bolger of 1803, now in the Mitchell Library (fig. 2). Ten years later it became the subject of an engraving in a series of views produced by Absalom West (fig. 3). The view was engraved by William Preston after a drawing by John Eyre.28Absalom West published two series of views entitled Views in New South Wales between 1812 and 1814, Woolloomooloo appears in the second series. A complete set is held in the Mitchell Library. In 1819 Lycett made a watercolour drawing of Woolloomooloo (fig. 4). This drawing, which is similar to the engraving of it in his volume and to the final working drawing now in the National Gallery of Victoria (fig. 5), is likely to be one of those from which Lycett worked when he prepared his final working drawings for engraving. 

In Bolger’s drawing the features of the landscape are organised into a primitive picturesque composition.29Bolger’s drawing, together with Watling’s A Direct North General View of Sydney Cove 1794, in the Dixson Galleries, Sydney, are early examples of the use by artists of a picturesque framework in landscape depiction. In both cases overcrowding in the foreground upsets the compositional balance. We see references to the type of land use which the estate supported, the mixture of small-scale agriculture and grazing which many government officers, such as John Palmer, had introduced on to their estates after 1793.30John Palmer was one of the first government officers to receive a grant of land while still in government service. He was granted one hundred and seventy acres at Garden Island between February 1793 and February 1794 by Francis Grose, Historical Records of Australia (series I) 1, pp. 438, 473. Preston’s engraving, on the other hand, makes few references to land use, and is essentially topographical in its interests, showing the natural landscape in which the residence is set, the vegetation, the lie of the land, and the relationship of these to water. Lycett’s watercolour of 1819 is also topographical, but he places more emphasis in his composition on the residence and its immediate surroundings, presenting what is a more private view of the landscape. 

These interests are carried over into the watercolour in the National Gallery of Victoria and into the engraving in Lycett’s volume (fig. 6). Here more adjustments have taken place as Lycett alters the emphasis of his image, referring more directly to leisure, ease and control, and to the power of the Europeans over the land. He achieves this by simplifying and regularising the composition, omitting natural features where they interrupt the harmonious image which he seeks to create and manufacturing others which heighten it. So while rocks dominate the foreground and middle ground in the 1819 watercolour, in the later watercolour and engraving they have been reduced in favour of a grassy lawn, presenting an easy access for the strolling couple introduced into the composition. They find time to pause and admire the landscape. These figures are complemented by a group of Aborigines depicted in the left middle ground, sitting quietly in the shade of the trees, apparently unconcerned by their European proprietors. The small fence which runs through the early watercolour has been dispensed with, opening up the space and giving a more extensive appearance to the landscape. The groups of trees seen behind the house have been organised into a line, and five evenly spaced trees have appeared in the upper left, providing more evidence of order and control. The more faithful subdued tones of the 1819 watercolour have been exchanged for sharper and brighter hues and the foliage has been altered to suggest fertility, simultaneously reducing some of the picturesque quality of the original drawing. Smoothness, gradual variation and clarity of colour, described by Edmund Burke as characterising beauty in an object, are emphasised over the roughness, irregularity and tonality of the picturesque more prominent in the earlier picture.31E. Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, edited by J. J. Boulton, London, 1958 (original edn 1757), pp. 112–17. 

Through these adjustments Lycett developed an image which highlighted European control over the land and the leisure which such control provides. Nowhere does he refer in his picture to the labour required to achieve control. At the same time there are aspects of the image which are apparently in conflict with the pastoral. While work is nowhere seen to take place, the idea of work has been introduced into the picture by representing the results of work. The view is, after all, about the conversion of the land, about the results of industry, as indeed are the other five views of property in the volume. The description of the view of Burwood Villa which appears in the letterpress makes this clear. The estate is described as: 

a remarkable instance of how speedily the forest in New South Wales can be cleared of its superfluous timber and rendered contributable to the comforts and luxuries of man; for within three years of the felling the first tree on this estate, the whole was enclosed and subdivided; five hundred acres were more or less cleared and a desirable villa house erected; artificial grasses were growing and a garden of four acres was in full cultivation.32J. Lycett, op. cit., letterpress opposite Burwood Villa, New South Wales. The property of Alexander Riley, n.p. 

Yet, while work is referred to, it is more the ease with which, according to the text, the land is able to be cleared that receives emphasis. The ‘comforts and luxuries’ which represent the results of work and not work itself take precedence in the account. Work which, as an idea, is clearly in conflict with the pastoral, is subsumed by it and incorporated into it in much the same way as it is incorporated into the pastoral in John Constable’s paintings, though clearly in Constable pictures work may become sufficiently prominent, as John Barrell has argued, to upset the pastoral’s vision of a ‘natural’ harmony between man and nature and present an alternative vision, one in which harmony with nature is seen as being achieved through labour.33J. Barrell, op. cit., p. 156. 

The engraving of Burwood Villa (fig. 7) presents work in the same ambiguous way as the description in the text. The view shows a landholding of medium size which has been cleared, converted into pasture and enclosed from the bush by a fence. A residence encircled by an additional fence is located in the middle ground. Except for the barely discernible figure of a man approaching the homestead on horseback, and for the three cows which graze quietly beneath trees in the foreground, the landscape is deserted. Despite the evidence which the image presents of the action of Europeans on the land, the impression which the image conveys is of no activity at all. In this sense the picture presents a false image. There is nothing here to suggest the hard work of the clearing of the land described in so many accounts by Europeans. In its place is an image of the results of labour, one which paradoxically is pervaded by passivity and silence. While both the view and the text refer indirectly to the virtue of work, the idea of nature giving up her gifts freely is more in evidence here, as indeed it is in most of the engravings, than any suggestion that toil and labour might be the real deliverer of nature’s goods. In fact, if we compare a miniature pen and ink drawing of Captain Piper’s Naval Villa in the Mitchell Library to the engraving of it in the volume (fig. 8), we notice that the only reference to work in the drawing, a man struggling to release a small boat from its mooring, has been deleted from the engraving.34See the miniature pen and ink drawing entitled Naval Pavilion at Point Piper, the Seat of John Piper Esq. N.S.W., filed with the work of Edward Mason, cat. no. C459, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney. In its place are two gentlemen who pause to discuss a point while casually strolling in what, in the engraving, have become spacious lawns. They are clearly supposed to be escaping the fatigue of business life in Sydney, described in what is one of the more obvious references to the pastoral in the text.35J. Lycett, op. cit., letterpress opposite View of Captain Piper’s Naval Villa, n.p. 

 

The appearance of these references to the pastoral coincide with changes in patterns of land alienation, changes which accompanied the growth of large-scale pastoralism. In the decade and a half before 1825, as Brian Fletcher has pointed out in his important study of land use during the penal phase of settlement, land alienation went ahead at an accelerated rate on the previous decades and in response to demands for grazing rather than farming.36B. Fletcher, Landed Enterprise and Penal Society, Sydney, 1976, p. 131. During Johnston’s and Foveaux’s administrations 7,244 acres and 6,825 acres were alienated, respectively.

In comparison, William Paterson’s administration, which was very short, saw a remarkable 64,000 acres, and Lachlan Macquarie’s 230,045.37These figures have been compiled from Registers of Land Grants in the Registrar-General’s Office, Sydney, ibid., p. 232. While both Paterson and Macquarie continued to alienate land in small lots, a feature of their administrations is the increased number of large-scale land grants on that of previous administrations. Macquarie, for example, released eighty-two grants of between 501–1,000 acres (compared to Foveaux’s three), twenty-six of between 1,001–1,500 acres, fourteen between 1,501–2,000 acres (compared in both cases to none by Foveaux), and nine of over 2,000 acres (to one by Foveaux).38ibid., p. 233. The picture which emerges is one of increasing numbers of large landholdings. In addition we know that vast areas of land were being unofficially occupied, and that landowners were continually buying up the lands of small bankrupt landowners to augment their own holdings.39ibid., p. 55; S. Roberts, The History of Australian Land Settlement, 1788–1920, Melbourne, 1968, p. 25; Τ. Μ. Perry, ‘The Spread of Rural Settlement in New South Wales, 1788–1826’, Historical Studies vi, 1955, p. 383. The extensive grazing lands which we see in images, such as Lycett’s view of John Macarthur’s residence, during the decade or so previous to 1825 were increasing as a feature in the landscape (fig. 9). Their appearance is important, for without large-scale land alienation and extensive land use the framework upon which the pastoral relies in the depiction of landscape is absent. 

Pastoral conventions simply do not appear in the work of artists living in Australia in the first two decades of settlement. The pictures of Thomas Watling, George Evans, John Eyre and John Lewin show the small communities concentrated around the settlements in Sydney, Parramatta, the Hawkesbury, and elsewhere. In these we see the urban allotments of small farmers, labourers and tradesmen nestling in the landscape adjacent to church and state property. The landscape is presented as a plurality of interests, as a community. The concern with describing individual prosperity, the privatising of the landscape which we see in Lycett, is absent. It was only with the changing directions of European settlement of the 1820s, and the adjustment to European conceptions about Australia which accompanied them, that Lycett’s new vision was able to appear. The image of a fertile land in need of emigrants, which appears here first, became an enduring idea in the history of European settlement in Australia.40Much of the material in this article was first presented as a paper at a conference held at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, August 1984. I would like to thank Helen Topliss for providing me with the opportunity to express my ideas on that occasion. 

Jeanette Hoorn, Tutor, Department of Fine Arts, University of Melbourne (in 1986).

Notes

* The place name, Woolloomooloo, has been spelt in various ways by the artists and has been standardised in this article to ‘Woolloomooloo’; the captions retain the original spellings. 

1          J. Lycett, Views in Australia: or New South Wales & Van Diemen’s Land delineated in Fifty Views with Descriptive Letterpress …, J. Souter, London, 1824–25, subsequently cited as Views in Australia

2          D. Thomas, ‘Visual Images’, in George Seddon & Mari Davis (eds), Man and Landscape in Australia, Canberra, 1976, p. 158. 

3          The Oxford Dictionary notes specifically the Australian usage of pastoralist as ‘a sheep farmer, a squatter’ (Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, U.S.A., 1971, p. 2095). 

4          Russel Ward’s The Australian Legend, Melbourne, 1958, sought an explanation for what he identified as Australian cultural stereotypes in the life and manners of nineteenth-century workers in the pastoral industry. Ward’s thesis had a profound effect upon Australian historiography over the following decades. The Australian Legend was not seriously challenged until 1970, when Humphrey McQueen questioned Ward’s idea of, in his words, ‘a natural socialist ethos’ amongst bush workers, a criticism which Ward later defended. Historians who have responded critically to Ward include Graeme Davison, who argues for the importance of urban experience in forging cultural patterns in Australia, and J. B. Hirst, who emphasises the role of the pioneer selector over Ward’s itinerant workers. See H. McQueen, A New Britannia, Ringwood, Vic., 1970, p. 12; G. Davison, ‘Sydney and the Bush: An Urban Context for the Australian Legend’, Historical Studies 18, 71, October 1978, pp. 191–209; J. B. Hirst, ‘The Pioneer Legend’, Historical Studies 18, 71, October 1978, pp. 316–37; R. Ward, ‘The Australian Legend Revisited’, Historical Studies 18, 71, October 1978, pp. 171–90. See Asa Briggs’s discussion of The Australian Legend in his Victorian Cities, London, 1963, pp. 292–4. 

5          For example, ‘it was not until this pastoral myth was fully established that the historians, accepting it wholly, ventured into the field’, and further ‘Moribund or not, the pastoral tradition still seemed the authentic Australian legend, and the wool industry the major dynamic of Australia’s economic growth’, G. Bolton, ‘The Historian as Artist and Interpreter of the Environment’, Seddon & Davis, op. cit., pp. 116, 17. 

6          Rural landscapes may be simply described as ‘bush landscapes’ or ‘bush pictures’, as they are, for example, by Ian Burn in his essay entitled ‘Beating about the Bush, the Landscapes of the Heidelberg School’, in A. Bradley & T. Smith (eds), Australian Art and Architecture: Essays Presented to Bernard Smith, Melbourne, 1980, pp. 83–98. Pastoral, clearly, may also be used in relationship to the Australian landscape in ways more closely associated with some of pastoral’s literary meanings. Patrick McCaughey, in discussing a series of works painted by Arthur Boyd for example, wrote: ‘The scruffy, unpicturesque nature of the bush is emphasised quite differently from both the pastoral or paradisal iconography of earlier Boyd landscapes and the purgatorial or infernal landscape of the Nude and Beast or Nebuchadnezzar series’, ‘The Artist in Extremis, 1972–3’, in Bradley & Smith, op. cit., p. 211. 

7          My use of the term pastoral derives in part from John Barren’s discussion of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English poetry and painting. See in particular his essay on John Constable in The Dark Side of the Landscape, Cambridge, 1980, pp. 131–64. See also Ρ. Alpers, ‘What Is Pastoral?’, Critical Inquiry 8, Spring 1982, pp. 437–60; and B. Snell, ‘Arcadia, the Discovery of a Spiritual Landscape’, The Discovery of the Mind, Cambridge, Mass., 1953, pp. 281–309. 

8          See Β. Smith, European Vision and the South Pacific, London, 1960, pp. 158–76; A. Mitchell, ‘Fiction’, in L. Kramer (ed.), The Oxford History of Australian Literature, London, 1981, pp. 29–31. 

9          F. G. Clarke regards this attitude as well established by the late 1820s. See his The Land of Contrarieties: British Attitudes to Australia 1828–1855, Melbourne, 1977, p. 78. 

10        Criticism of the colonial administration on a variety of fronts led to Bigge’s enquiry into the running and future of the Australian colonies. He produced three reports, the most extensive and important of which is The Report of the Commissioner of Enquiry into the Colony of New South Wales, London, June 1822; see J. Ritchie, Punishment and Profit, Melbourne, 1970. 

11        S. Morrissey, ‘The Pastoral Economy 1821–1850’, in James Griffin (ed.), Essays in Economic History of Australia, Sydney, 1970, p. 62; R. Auchmuty, ‘1810–1830’, in F. K. Crowley (ed.), A New History of Australia, Melbourne, 1971, pp. 74–6. 

12        N. D. McLachlan, ‘Edward Eagar, 1787–1866: A Colonial Spokesman in Sydney and London’, Historical Studies 10, 40, May 1963, pp. 401–56. 

13        W. C. Wentworth, A Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales and its Dependent Settlements in Van Diemen’s Land with a Particular Enumeration of the Advantages which these Colonies offer for Emigration and their Superiority in Many Respects over those possessed by the United States of America, London, 1819. 

14        ibid, p. vi. 

15        ibid, p. 47. 

16        Macarthur to John Macarthur Jr, 28 February 1820, p. 5, Letters of John Macarthur to his sons 1815–32, Macarthur Papers, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney. 

17        Other sources referred to in the text include: [A. Phillip], The Voyage of Governor Arthur Phillip to Botany Bay, London, 1789; D. Collins, Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, London, 1789; G. Evans, Geographical, Historical and Topographical Description of Van Diemen’s Land, London, 1822; J. Oxley, Journal of Two Expeditions to the Interior of New South Wales, 1817–1818, London, 1820. 

18        There appears to have been a good deal of borrowing of material amongst writers of this kind of literature in Australia during this period. Evans’s Geographical, Historical and Topographical Description of Van Diemen’s Land, London, 1822, and Jeffrey’s Geographical & Descriptive Delineation of the Island of Van Diemen’s Land, London, 1820, also borrowed from Wentworth. See E. Morris Miller, ‘An Unrecorded Hobart Town Gazette’, Tasmanian Historical Research Association Papers 7, 4, June 1959, pp. 59–65. 

19        The combination of a series of engraved views with a narrative history follows the practice of volumes of exotic views of the period. See, for example, J. Hakewill, Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, London, 1824. 

20        Lake George, discovered by Joseph Wilde in August 1821, for example, is included as a subject. See J. Jervis, ‘The Wingeecaribee and Southern Highland District’, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal 23, 4, 1937, p. 256. 

21        The Views were originally published in sets of four, each containing two of New South Wales and two of Van Diemen’s Land. They appeared in a different order from the one adopted for the volume. See C. Craig, Old Tasmanian Prints, Launceston, 1964, pp. 39–62. 

22        For biographical details see my entry on Lycett in J. Kerr (ed.), The Dictionary of Australian Artists, Working Paper 2 (forthcoming). 

23        Two sets of drawings may have been produced in preparation for the engraving process. A set of thirteen drawings by Lycett which came from the Earl of Derby’s library and which are now in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, may have been produced for the volume, although only nine of the thirteen are close to the engravings in the Views. Twenty-four of the final working drawings were auctioned at Sotheby’s in London in 1962. These were purchased by a private collector in Melbourne. Twelve of the group reappeared at auction in Melbourne in June 1978, and were purchased by major public art galleries and museums throughout Australia. The Woolloomooloo drawing in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria is one of these. 

24        L. Macquarie, ‘Journal of a Voyage and Tour of Inspection to Van Diemen’s Land, 1821’, Macquarie’s Journals of his Tours in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, Mitchell Library edition, Sydney, 1979, pp. 169–202. 

25        Rex and Thea Reinits have pointed out the similarities between Lycett’s View of Bathurst Falls and the engraving of the same title in Oxley’s Journal of Two Expeditions to the Interior of New South Wales 1817–1818, London, 1822, opposite p. 300. This view was engraved, according to Oxley, from a drawing by Taylor based upon a sketch by Evans. See R. & T. Reinits, Early Artists of Australia, Sydney, 1963, p. 188. 

26        A series of miniature pen and ink drawings executed in the early 1820s of church, state and private property in and around Sydney is held in the Mitchell Library. The series was copied and engraved by Edward Mason and published by the government printer in the early 1890s following Henry Parkes’s interest in them as records of the early colonial landscape. The original drawings were probably by Lycett. See letter, Parkes to Potter, 22 April 1822, cat. no. 6257, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney. 

27        J. Conway, ‘Merchants and Merinos’, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal 46, 1960, pp. 208–12. 

28        Absalom West published two series of views entitled Views in New South Wales between 1812 and 1814, Woolloomooloo appears in the second series. A complete set is held in the Mitchell Library. 

29        Bolger’s drawing, together with Watling’s A Direct North General View of Sydney Cove 1794, in the Dixson Galleries, Sydney, are early examples of the use by artists of a picturesque framework in landscape depiction. In both cases overcrowding in the foreground upsets the compositional balance. 

30        John Palmer was one of the first government officers to receive a grant of land while still in government service. He was granted one hundred and seventy acres at Garden Island between February 1793 and February 1794 by Francis Grose, Historical Records of Australia (series I) 1, pp. 438, 473. 

31        E. Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, edited by J. J. Boulton, London, 1958 (original edn 1757), pp. 112–17. 

32        J. Lycett, op. cit., letterpress opposite Burwood Villa, New South Wales. The property of Alexander Riley, n.p. 

33        J. Barrell, op. cit., p. 156. 

34        See the miniature pen and ink drawing entitled Naval Pavilion at Point Piper, the Seat of John Piper Esq. N.S.W., filed with the work of Edward Mason, cat. no. C459, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney. 

35        J. Lycett, op. cit., letterpress opposite View of Captain Piper’s Naval Villa, n.p. 

36        B. Fletcher, Landed Enterprise and Penal Society, Sydney, 1976, p. 131. 

37        These figures have been compiled from Registers of Land Grants in the Registrar-General’s Office, Sydney, ibid., p. 232. 

38        ibid., p. 233. 

39        ibid., p. 55; S. Roberts, The History of Australian Land Settlement, 1788–1920, Melbourne, 1968, p. 25; Τ. Μ. Perry, ‘The Spread of Rural Settlement in New South Wales, 1788–1826’, Historical Studies vi, 1955, p. 383. 

40        Much of the material in this article was first presented as a paper at a conference held at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, August 1984. I would like to thank Helen Topliss for providing me with the opportunity to express my ideas on that occasion.