For over 50 years between the 1760s and the early 19th century, the pioneers who sailed from Europe to explore the Pacific brought back glimpses of this new world in the form of oil paintings, watercolours and drawings - a sensational view of a part of the world few would ever see. Today these works represent a fascinating and inspiring perspective from the frontier of discovery.
It was Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, who popularised the placement of professional artists on British ships of exploration. They captured striking and memorable images of everything they encountered- exotic landscapes, beautiful flora and fauna, as well as remarkable portraits of indigenous peoples. These earliest views of the Pacific, particularly Australia, were designed to promote the new world as enticing, to make it seem familiar, to encourage further exploration and, ultimately, British settlement.
Drawing on both private and public collections from around the world, this lavish book collects together oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints and other documents from those voyages, and presents a unique glimpse into an age where science and art became irrevocably entwined.
About the Author
Dr James Taylor, FRSA studied at the Universities of St Andrews, Manchester and Sussex. He is an accredited lecturer for the National Association of Fine and Decorative Arts; a former curator of paintings, drawings and prints, organiser of exhibitions and galleries and corporate membership manager at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; and Victorian paintings specialist with Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers. He is an avid collector of artist-drawn picture postcards.
Publications include: Marine Painting (1995), Yachts on Canvas (1998), Rule Britannia! Art, Power and Royalty (2007); Careless Talk Costs Lives: Fougasse and the Art of Public Information (2010) and Your Country Needs You: The Secret History of the Propaganda Poster (2013).