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Brisbane Botanical Gardens from River Terrace. JR Ashton engraving c1886.

Brisbane Botanical Gardens from River Terrace. JR Ashton engraving c1886.

by Ashton, Julian Rossi

Antique print of Botanical Gardens from River Terrace c1886, with Alpha-class gunboat Gayundah moored in the Brisbane River off the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. Gayundah, with its fixed stern gun, was one of only two Queensland Defence Force vessels. She was commissioned to defend against an anticipated attack by the Russians. (At the time of this engraving, Gayundah was under the command of Captain Henry Wright who was attempting to win an industrial dispute over time off.) This scene looks across the Botanical Gardens to the grand new Parliament House.

Original wood engraving by Andrew after a drawing by influential Australian artist and art teacher Julian Rossi Ashton (1851-1942) for Picturesque Atlas of Australasia published in Sydney between 1886 and 1888 to commemorate 100 years since First Fleet settlement in Australia, and to provide a graphic summary of the discovery, settlement and development in Australia and the adjacent countries.  Leading artists and topographical engravers were commissioned, and Frederick Schell was appointed Art Director to compile illustrations for the publication. Over 700 engravings were carved (in reverse) from drawings and sketches. Most of the engravings were carved from wood, but some finer portraits combined the skilled art of mezzotint with steel engraving. Some engraved views featured a lithographic border composed of Australian flora. The illustrations were some of the finest engravings produced anywhere in the world in the late 19th century.

Some full page engravings were inserted without printing on reverse, but most of the engravings, as with this one, are within a page of text. This engraving is the full width of the page and has fine later hand-colour. It is in good condition with the usual slight ageing of the paper.

Stock Number: apBris5Price: $145.00