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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

William Westall

1854
George Dance and William Daniell (engraver)

etching on paper (sheet: 34.3 cm x 26.7 cm)

William Westall (1781–1850), artist, grew up in London and was taught draw by his elder half-brother Richard, who was drawing master to Princess Victoria. In 1799 he was admitted to the Royal Academy School, but the following year was appointed landscape artist to the Investigator expedition, led by Matthew Flinders. During the voyage, for which he was paid 300 guineas, he made many pencil-and-wash landscapes, a series of coast profiles in pencil, some representations of Indigenous people and the first known European copies of Aboriginal cave paintings. Many of Westall’s drawings were ‘wetted and partly destroyed’ when the Porpoise (aboard which Flinders and other expeditioners were returning to England) ran aground on Wreck Reef in 1803. Those drawings that were salvaged were then taken to London where, at the suggestion of Sir Joseph Banks, they were handed to Richard Westall to be restored. After spending some time in China and India, Westall returned to London in 1805 before travelling to Madeira and Jamaica. On commission from the Admiralty, Westall painted nine oils from his Investigator sketches that were later engraved to illustrate Flinders’s A Voyage to Terra Australis (1814).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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