TAYLOR, James (Major, of his Majesty's 48th Regiment of Foot)
Part of the Harbour of Port Jackson, and the Country between Sydney and the Blue Mountains, New South Wales
London: Alecto Editions and the State Library of New South Wales, 1988. Originally engraved by Robert Havell and son, printed by Edward Egerton-Williams in colours and finished by hand, with printer's blindstamp. Sheet size: 24 1/2 x 31 inches.
"By 1820, Sydney was a town of 12,000 inhabitants, about a third of whom were convicts. It had grown dramatically during the administration of Lachlan Macquarie who was appointed governor of New South Wales in 1810. Unlike previous governors, Macquarie was not content merely to oversee a penal colony. His vigorous building programme changed forever the appearance of Sydney, while his policy of accepting emancipated convicts as respected citizens demonstrated a social attitude strangely out of step with the times. Both these policies earned him criticism. In 1819, alarmed by Macquarie's extravagant public works, the British Government commissioned a lawyer and civil servant, J.T.Bigge, to investigate. The attacks by his critics were met head on by Macquarrie's supporters in New South Wales. Books, pamphlets and paintings luded the governor's undoubted achievements. Almost certainly Major Taylor's drawings were used in, if not commissioned for, this cause. The engraved view presents a flattering image of the Australian seat of government and, by extension, of Macquarie's term there...Taylor arranged the engraving and printing of the of the three sheet Panorama.. upon his return to England in July 1822...Havell appears to have worked from [Taylor's].. large watercolours, but amended them with additional details.. and decorative elements...It is most fortuitous that the copper plates...have survived. There is no other example of such a case for 19th century Australian engravings."