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Australia, Post Office Colonnade, Sydney, c1886

Australia, Post Office Colonnade, Sydney, c1886

Regular price $250.00 AUD
Regular price Sale price $250.00 AUD
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Original Print from Garran's The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia

Date: c1886

Artist: Smedley, William Thomas

Publisher: Picturesque Atlas Publishing Co, Sydney

Paper Size: 265 x 185mm

Condition: good

Technique: Wood Engraving

Price: $250

Description: Original Wood Engraving with later hand colouring


The General Post Office commonly known as Sydney GPO is a heritage-listed landmark building located in Martin Place in Sydney. The original building was constructed in 2 stages beginning in 1886under the guidance of colonial architect James Barnet. 

Comprised primarily of Sydney sandstone mined in Pyrmont 

The Northern Facade has been described as "the finest example of a Victorian Italian Renaissance style in NSW making it one of the largest sandstone buildings in Sydney

The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia 

Published in Sydney in 1886-88, the enormous, multi-volume 'Picturesque Atlas of Australasia' was an attempt with words and pictures to describe the Australia of the time.

Its publication was one of the most significant cultural projects in 19th-century Australia. Writers, artists, academics, and politicians came together to prepare a book of unprecedented grandeur and ambition, and a publishing company was established to publish it. The 1100+ engravings on steel and wood contained in the Picturesque Atlas were among the finest engravings to be found anywhere in the world at this time, and many of the illustrations were specially commissioned works by leading Australian artists of the era, for the publication.
A unique and valuable historical record of Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific.

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Smedley, William John (March 26, 1858 – March 26, 1920
Smedley was an American Artist born in Chester County Pennsylvania, of Quaker parents.

He worked at a newspaper, before studying engraving and art in Philadelphia, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  and—after making a tour of the South Seas—in Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens.  

He settled in New York City in 1880; in 1882 went with the Marquis of Lorne through Canada, preparing sketches for Picturesque Canada. He also provided wood engravings that appeared in The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia. In 1905 he became a member of the National Academy of Design.

Most of his work was magazine and book illustrations for stories of modern life, but he painted portraits and watercolours, and received the Evans Prize of the American Watercolour Society in 1890 

Smedley died in Bronxville New York on 26th March 1920

From The Australian Dictionary of Biography

Written by Katherine Harper


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