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Collection

An image of The Gigantic Lyllie of New South Wales by J W Lewin

J W Lewin

(England, Australia 1770 – Aug 1819)

Title
The Gigantic Lyllie of New South Wales
Year
1810
Media category
Watercolour
Materials used
pencil, watercolour on cream laid paper
Dimensions

53.8 x 43.1 cm borderlines; 54.1x 43.6 cm sheet; 68.0 x 57.5 x 4.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., pen and black ink "I.W. Lewin .../ 1810.".
Credit
Purchased 1968
Accession number
WA9.1968
Location
Not on display
Further information

This winter and spring flowering lily grows in abundance in the rocky bushland of the Sydney region from Wollongong to Port Stephens. 'Gymea' is its Aboriginal name. At least three other studies of the Gymea lily (Doryanthes excelsa) by Lewin are known - two in the Mitchell Library (State Library of NSW) and another offered at auction by Christie's, London 26 September 2002 (67). In his book 'A narrative of a visit to the Australian colonies' (London, 1843), the visiting English Quaker and missionary James Backhouse noted that Australian Aborigines roasted and ate the lily's stem.

excerpt from Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, '19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels in the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005

Bibliography (16)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 65 (colour illus.).

Tim Bonyhady, The colonial image: Australian painting 1800-1880, Canberra, 1987, 13 (colour illus.).

Christie's London, Paintings, drawings, bronzes, weapons and books of American, Australian, Canadian, South African and Eastern interest, 27 June - 2 July 1968, South Kensington, 1968, (illus.). lot no. 46

Christie's London, Christie's London: Exploration and travel including The Bligh Relics, St. James's, 26 Sep 2002, 66 (colour illus.). lot no. 67 is a watercolour on paper titled 'The Gymea Lily (Doryanthes excelsa)', painted in 1807 by J.W. Lewin, 54.6 x 41.3 cm, Estimate: US$47,000 - 78,000.

Jane de Teliga, Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1979, 7.

Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 8, 16 (illus.). cat.no. 1

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Works on Paper', pg. 182-197, Sydney, 1999, 183 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Australian images from the past: whether rarely seen or familiar, these works move and delight us', pg. 24-27, Newtown, Apr 2005, 24.

Hendrik Kolenberg., Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection, 'Introduction', Sydney, 1991. not paginated, cat.no. 37

Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 2005, 20, 21 (colour illus.).

Barry Pearce, The artist and the patron - aspects of Colonial art in New South Wales, Sydney, 1988, 134, 135 (colour illus.). cat.no. 117

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 16.

Anne Ryan, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Colonial eyes', pg. 17-18, Sydney, 2000, 17, 20 (colour illus.), 21, 301.

Daniel Thomas, Creating Australia: 200 years of art 1788-1988, 'Colonial Art: Nature', pg.32, Melbourne, 1988, 35 (colour illus.).

Daniel Thomas, Art and Australia [vol. 10, no. 1], 'Australian collection', pg. 52-62, Sydney, Jul 1972, 53 (colour illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, Sydney, Apr 1969, 454, 456 (illus.).

Exhibition history (9)

Christie's South Kensington: Paintings, drawings, bronzes, weapons and books of American, Australian, Canadian, South African and Eastern interest, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, 27 Jun 1968–02 Jul 1968

Western European and Australian drawings XVI-XX century, from Australian museums, State Hermitage Museum, Russia, Dec 1978–Feb 1979

Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Dec 1979–28 Jan 1980

Two centuries of Australian painting, a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Orange Regional Gallery, Australia, 19 Apr 1986–15 Jun 1986

The artist and the patron: Aspects of colonial art in New South Wales., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Mar 1988–01 May 1988

The great Australian art exhibition:

Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection (1991), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Apr 1991–07 Jul 1991

19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Apr 2005–24 Jul 2005

Capturing flora: 300 years of Australian botanical art, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat, 25 Sep 2012–02 Dec 2012