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Australian art

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Early Newcastle

(circa 1853)


F. C. Terry


1827 - 1869


Frederic Terry came to Australia from England with his elder brother Alexander in 1852. Failing as gold prospectors in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Alexander returned to England while Frederic established himself as a painter of topographical watercolours in and around Sydney and Newcastle. Commissioned by the Sydney publisher John Sands, Terry produced a series of drawings which were engraved and issued in 1854-55 as 'The Australian keepsake' (it is not Terry's name that appears on these engravings, but mistakenly 'Fleury').

The Gallery's watercolour depicts Newcastle, including Nobby's Point, as a thriving port and city. On the left is Christ Church (now the cathedral). The pair of two-storey buildings on the right were erected as Army Barracks in 1849 and later used as a women's reformatory and mental hospital. A number of ships are depicted in port, emphasizing Newcastle's importance on Australia's eastern coast. In the foreground are various figures, including an artist erecting an umbrella alongside his easel, stool and palette - perhaps a self portrait? The painting on the easel (also of Newcastle with Nobby's Head in the distance) mirrors the Gallery's watercolour.

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 1853)

Media category


Materials used

pencil, watercolour, white gouache, scraping out


51.1 x 91.5 cm sheet; 60.8 x 106.8 cm slip sight edge

Signature & date

Signed l.l. corner, brown watercolour "Terry ft". Not dated.


Bequest of Commander Frank Gardner 1927


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

F. C. Terry

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 2 publications


Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 2005, 45 (colour illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), Newcastle morning herald & miners' advocate, 'Old Newcastle in watercolours', Newcastle, 09 Dec 1961, (illus.).