The Artists of the Picturesque Atlas

Original drawings and paintings by the artists of The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia will be on show at the National Library in A Nation Imagined: The Artists of the Picturesque Atlas, open from Friday 12 March to Sunday 11 July 2021.

The Atlas, published in supplements between 1886 and 1889, set out to document through illustrations, maps and text a settler-colonial view of Australia's history, landscape and ways of life. It was also a catalyst for the art movement that followed, now known as Australian impressionism.

The exhibition showcases the art of three of the Atlas’s artists: Julian Ashton, A. Henry Fullwood and Frank Mahony. The works of other Atlas contributors – including William Macleod, Ellis Rowan, Constance Roth and Americans William Smedley and Frederic B. Schell – are also featured, as well as the original engraving tools of Atlas artist George Collingridge.

Join the conversation with #ANationImagined

Join a guided tour of the exhibition every Tuesday and Sunday at 10:30am. These tours depart from the Main Foyer. Bookings for tours are essential

A Nation Imagined: The Artists of the Picturesque Atlas is presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Explore the Exhibition online


Image: Julian Ashton, The Prospector (detail), 1889, oil on canvas on hardboard, Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased 1889