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Australian art

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The Heads, Port Jackson

(circa 1843)


John Skinner Prout

England, Australia

19 Dec 1805 - 29 Sep 1876


This is one of two drawings by Skinner Prout of Sydney Heads from William Robertson's collection. It includes the historic Macquarie Lighthouse, Australia's first, and was made as a study for the lithograph in Part III of his series 'Sydney illustrated' 1843, about which John Rae wrote:

"The present view, which is taken from the cliffs, a little to the South of the Light House, give a faithful and characteristic representation of the scenery around the Heads... Macquarie Tower and Light House (containing a revolving light), is situated on the highest part of the outer South Head of Port Jackson Harbour... To the North of the Light House, on the dark cliff in the centre of the picture, stand the Signal Station, Signal-post, and Telegraph, which communicate to the Station on Fort Phillip all information about vessels entering or leaving the harbour".

A steel engraving by Charles Cousen (1813?-89) after Skinner Prout is included in Edwin Carton Booth's 'Australia illustrated' (1873-76) opposite pg. 105.

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



(circa 1843)

Media category


Materials used

pencil on buff paper


16.4 x 22.4 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, pencil "J S Prout". Not dated.


Gift of W.T. Robertson 1991


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

John Skinner Prout

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 1 publication


Hendrik Kolenberg, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, 'Introduction', pg. 6-16, Sydney, 2005, 9, 39 (colour illus.).