Coverart for item
The Resource The national picture : the art of Tasmania's black war, Tim Bonyhady and Greg Lehman

The national picture : the art of Tasmania's black war, Tim Bonyhady and Greg Lehman

Label
The national picture : the art of Tasmania's black war
Title
The national picture
Title remainder
the art of Tasmania's black war
Statement of responsibility
Tim Bonyhady and Greg Lehman
Contributor
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Benjamin Duterrau and his National picture project are at the core of this publication because he was the colonial artist most interested in Tasmania's Aboriginal people, and the only artist who chose to depict, on a substantial scale, their conciliation or pacification by George Augustus Robinson. While Duterrau's weaknesses as an artist are obvious, his limited skill largely saved him from bombast - a recurrent problem with history painting of his era. Despite the disappearance of much of his work, Duterrau also left us with a rich array of often striking images of individuals and subjects of great enduring significance, where there otherwise would be none. They provide us with a vital means of conjuring the past. For Tasmanian Aboriginal people today, Duterrau's paintings provide a tantalising and rare visual record of the unique culture practice of their ancestors. Robinson's journals offer written descriptions of activities, such as spear-making and throwing, kangaroo hunting and ceremonial dance, accompanied by only a scattering of small, often crude sketches, which are vitally important firsthand observations. But it was Duterrau, alone among colonial artists in Van Diemen's Land, who painted these scenes on a large scale. His anatomical modelling may be poor, but Duterrau's paintings have a sense of life that is not found elsewhere, and reflect his well-documented sympathy for Aboriginal people at the hands of a violent invading force. This publication is also framed around an image conceived by Tasmania's Surveyor-General George Frankland almost three years before Duterrau arrived in Hobart. The catalyst was Frankland's discovery that Aboriginal culture included a visual language. On a visit to the island's far north-west, he encountered drawings on trees and inside huts that included depictions of colonists. Words having manifestly failed because of the settlers' ignorance of Aboriginal languages, Frankland thought art could provide a novel means of communication and created a series of drawings that he described as depicting 'the cause of the present warfare' and the 'real wishes of the government' towards Aboriginal people: 'the desired termination of hostility'. His plan was that these drawings be reproduced and distributed around the bush, fastened on trees, where Aboriginal people were most likely to see them. He was so excited by this idea that, in February 1829, he wrote about it twice in the course of a week - to the colony's Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur, and to a member of the Colonial Office in London, advocating this use of pictures as an experiment worth trying since 'everything ought to be tried to accomplish a reconciliation'
Cataloging source
AU@
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
  • Tim Bonyhady
  • Greg Lehman
  • National Gallery of Australia
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Art
  • Artists
  • Aboriginal Australians
  • Aboriginal Australians in art
  • Aboriginal Australians
  • Aboriginal Australians in art
  • Art
  • Artists
  • Tasmania
  • Art
  • Artistes
  • Australiens (Aborigènes)
  • Australiens (Aborigènes) dans l'art
Target audience
general
Label
The national picture : the art of Tasmania's black war, Tim Bonyhady and Greg Lehman
Instantiates
Publication
Note
Prepublication record (machine generated from publisher information)
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1019806572
Dimensions
27 cm
Extent
256 pages
Isbn
9780642334763
Isbn Type
(paperback)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Other physical details
illustrations, portraits, maps
System control number
(OCoLC)1019806572
Label
The national picture : the art of Tasmania's black war, Tim Bonyhady and Greg Lehman
Publication
Note
Prepublication record (machine generated from publisher information)
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1019806572
Dimensions
27 cm
Extent
256 pages
Isbn
9780642334763
Isbn Type
(paperback)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Other physical details
illustrations, portraits, maps
System control number
(OCoLC)1019806572

Library Locations

    • Bixler Art and Music LibraryBorrow it
      5660 Mayflower Hill, Waterville, ME, 04901, US
      44.563869 -69.662636