Jebel Musa, El Horra, Morocco
[Portrait of Charles Sturt]
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From the Collection
Condition: Some slight discolouration, insect accretions; Title from auction catalogue: Deutscher-Menzies Pty Ltd, the ANZ Pavilion, Level 8, the Victorian Arts Centre, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, 28 November 2001, 61. ; Shows two young members of the Sturt family. The young man standing and holding a cane is Charles Sturt, the notable Australian explorer. The slightly younger gentleman, who is seated and wears identical dress, is one of Sturt's younger brothers, possibly Napier. Charles Sturt was born in India on 28 April 1795, his father, Thomas Lennox Napier Sturt, being an East India Company judge living in Bengal. Charles was the second eldest of eight sons and one of thirteen children. He went to England at the age of five and at fifteen was schooled at Harrow. After entering the 39th Regiment of foot in 1813, he was promoted to captain in 1825 and arrived in Sydney in 1827. Attracted by the belief that a large inland sea lay in the centre of Australia, Sturt began a number of explorations, which included the discovery of the Darling and Murray rivers; In 1844 Sturt led yet another expedition, equipped with a boat, in search of the mythical inland sea. Starting from Adelaide, the event was recorded by S. T. Gill, a large watercolour drawing of the departure of the expedition being in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia. in his later years, Sturt held a number of prominent positions within the South Australian public service. He was appointed colonial secretary in 1849. Sturt died in England on 16 June 1869, being robbed of knighthood by death. There are several well-known portraits of Sturt at a mature age, including the oil painting in the National Library of Australia, Canberra. This fine English watercolour is the earliest known image of one of Australia's greatest inland explorers.
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From the Watercolour World