First Fleet Artist: George Raper’s Birds and Plants of Australia

In George Raper, midshipman on the Sirius of the First Fleet, talent and opportunity magnificently coalesced to produce what is now one of the National Library of Australia’s most treasured collections, the Ducie Collection of First Fleet Art. Raper’s ability to observe and depict the captivating beauty of Australian birds and plants was heightened by his youthful enthusiasm for the novelty of what he witnessed. In telling Raper’s story, Curator of Pictures at the National Library of Australia, Linda Groom, adds a new dimension to our understanding of the First Fleet experience and the life of a junior officer in the British Navy. Containing full-colour illustrations of the complete Ducie Collection, this volume gives substance to the previously shadowy figure of Raper: a young man whose adventurous spirit and extraordinary insight into the natural world bequeathed to Australia a superlative legacy. 

Book Cover

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Sample images

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The melancholy loss of
HMS Sirius off Norfolk
Island (1790)

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Swift Parrot (1788)
George Raper

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Pink bells (1788)
George Raper

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