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Australian art

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View of the Heads, at the entrance into Port Jackson

circa 1822


Joseph Lycett

England, Australia

1774 - 1828


Lycett prepared a number of drawings with the view to publishing them as a portfolio of lithographs. 'Views of Australia' was to appear in twelve monthly parts from 1824, each part containing two views of NSW and two of Van Diemen's Land, with descriptions and a map supplement. 'View of the heads at the entrance to Port Jackson', a view of Sydney Harbour, was one of these lithographs. The subjects Lycett chose for his Tasmanian views corresponded with the places Governor Macquarie visited on his tour of inspection with artists George William Evans and James Taylor in 1821. It is unclear whether he visited all the sites included in his 'Views of Australia'; there are no references to his inclusion in the party in Macquarie's journal. Lycett may have copied the work of others for some of the plates; certainly he changed many of the features (such as the vegetation) to comply with contemporary English ideas on picturesque composition, and differences between extant versions seem to indicate that there was probably more than one 'original' drawing for each plate.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000



circa 1822

Media category


Materials used



17.5 x 27.7 cm image; 21.4 x 28.9 cm sheet

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Purchased 1978


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Joseph Lycett

Works in the collection


Shown in 7 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 9 publications


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

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Works on Paper', pg. 182-197, Sydney, 1999, 184 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg., Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection, 'Introduction', Sydney, 1991. not paginated, 40

Hendrik Kolenberg, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, 'Introduction', pg. 6-16, Sydney, 2005, 9, 22, 23 (colour illus.).

Leonard Joel, Australian, New Zealand British and European historical and contemporary drawings and paintings sculptures, Wednesday, 24 May, Thursday, 25 May, Friday, 26 May, 1978, Melbourne, 1978, 88 (illus.). lot no. 430

Tim McCormick, First views of Australia 1788-1825: a history of early Sydney, Chippendale, 1987, 246 (colour illus.). 205

Lynette C. McLoughlin, Landscape research [vol. 24, no. 1], 'Vegetation in the early landscape art of Sydney region, Australia: accurate record or artistic licence?', pg. 25-47, Manchester, 1999, 35, 36 (illus.). figure no. 3

John McPhee, Look, 'Joseph Lycett: convict artist who captured the colony's early years', pg. 18-19, Sydney, Apr 2006, 19 (colour illus.).

Kay Vernon, Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Sydney, 1990, cover (colour illus.). 97