Australia, The Original Site of the Claimant's Shop,  c1886

Australia, The Original Site of the Claimant's Shop, c1886

Regular price $50.00 Sale

Original from Garran'sThe Picturesque Atlas of Australasia

Date: c1886

Artist: Macleod, William

Publisher: Picturesque Atlas Publishing Co, Sydney

Paper Size: 155 x 175mm

Condition: good

Technique: Wood Engraving

Price: $50

Description: Wood Engraving with later hand colouring


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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Macleod William

1850 – 1929

William Macleod, artist and magazine proprietor, attended the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts as a young teenager and saw his first illustration published in 1866.

In due course, having gained a reputation for stained-glass, portraits and paintings of cattle, he became an illustrator in demand for such organs as the Sydney Mail, The Australian Town and Country Journal and Punch.

At the beginning of 1880 he illustrated a story in the first issue of the Bulletin magazine and over the next seven years contributed illustrations to the Bulletin while hard at work on portraits for the centenary project, the serial Picturesque Atlas of Australia.

He became joint owner of the Bulletin with Jules Archibald in 1887, and managed the journal for the next forty years, controlling its business affairs while encouraging artists including Livingston Hopkins and David Low.

Thanks to an offhand remark by Victor Daly, he was destined to go down in history as a dullard, yet as a manager, according to his obituary in the Herald, ‘he was the embodiment of common sense, and he had a genius for diplomatic pacification.’

He worked in many art forms and mediums including black-and-white drawings, oils, watercolours, engravings, lithographs and clay busts. Resident of Dunvegan on Mosman Bay, renowned for genial hospitality, he left a very large fortune.

In the years after he died, his second wife, journalist Agnes Conor O’Brien, completed Macleod of the Bulletin (1931). The Art Gallery of New South Wales has his oil portraits of Percy Leason and Livingston Hopkins. The National Gallery has his engraved portrait of Archbishop Vaughan, and the National Library and various state libraries also have examples of his portrait lithographs.