Adelaide, The Artist, 1849.
A tinted lithograph (image size 202 × 308 mm plus the lithographed title in the bottom margin; paper size 247 × 336 mm), expertly removed from an old mount and lightly hinged in museum-quality board suitable for framing (visible image size 232 × 315 mm).
The entire print is a little uniformly tanned, with the bottom left-hand corner a little darker; marginal discolouration from the old mount effectively masked by the new one, apart from a thin strip below the caption; overall in very presentable condition.
'John Baptist Austin produced the first lithographed view of Adelaide in 1849. The local press described it as "by an amateur" and lamented that "the signs of commercial activity ... convey no just idea of the stirring activity of Adelaide'. In spite of this it conceded that "to intending immigrants it will doubtless prove attractive ...". The "Illustrated London News", where the view was reproduced on 24 August 1850, commented: "It is somewhat unfortunate that all the principle buildings of the city are in the background"' (Roger Butler: 'Printed Images in Colonial Australia, 1801-1901', National Gallery of Australia, 2007). The NGA's example, reproduced in the book (page 134), is hand-coloured; the artist's name is lithographed in the lefthand bottom margin ('J.B. Austin Junr Delt'). The State Library of South Australia has an uncoloured example; the catalogue record also says 'Original WITHDRAWN | Culturally Sensitive'. Even a cursory examination of this image suggests its lasting importance is in what was once deemed unfortunate, as we look into the back yards and beyond the boundary fences.