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National Museum of Australia

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Oil painting depicting H. M. Brig. Lady Nelson

2007.0068.0001

Oil painting depicting H. M. Brig. Lady Nelson

Object information

Physical description

An oil on canvas painting of the Brig H.M.Lady Nelson. The painting features a ship with two masts at full sail with a background of green pastures, windmills and cloudy sky. There are figures in the ship and a small row boat is towed behind. In the foreground is a brown barrel with a handle floating in the water.The canvas is stretched on a wood frame and has a flat gilded frame around it which features the handwritten inscription "H. M. BRIG. LADY NELSON. 1801". This first frame is then housed within an ornate bevelled, gilt and black frame On the back nails have been hammered half way into the wood then bent over to hold the canvas in the first frame, and that frame into the outer frame.

Statement of significance

This oil on canvas painting of the ship the Lady Nelson is in the style of the British School, C.1830, and measures 35cm x 52.5cm.

The Lady Nelson was built at Deptford in England in 1799 and selected by the Admiralty in 1800 to provide exploration services to the Colony of New South Wales. After an illustrious career as a survey craft, including its use by Lieutenant James Grant and Matthew Flinders (as an accompanying craft of HMS Investigator), and as a supply vessel, the Lady Nelson was seized by pirates off Timor in 1825. The crew were killed and the vessel scuttled at Baba Island. The historical significance of this painting covers three key themes: the ship's association with the settlement of Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Tasmania, Port Phillip and northern Australia; the importance of detailed surveying in the exploration of the Australian coastline; and the early efforts to exploit Australia's natural resources, in particular the discovery of coal.

Object information

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