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Convict Artist Richard Browne’s Watercolors

National Gallery of Australia - Joy of Museums - Richard Browne's Watercolours

Convict Artist Richard Browne’s Watercolors

This Folio of seven watercolors by Richard Browne with the description by Samuel Leigh depicts historical portraits of local Aboriginal people of the early 1800s. Reverend Samuel Leigh composed the folio of letters in 1821 for his London-based brethren of the Wesleyan Mission Society, and Browne’s drawing illustrated the letters.

Richard Browne was an early Australian convict artist and illustrator who was transported from Ireland to the colony of New South Wales in 1811. After his sentence was completed in 1817, he lived in Sydney, selling watercolor illustrations of natural history subjects and local Aborigines. Richard Browne’s Indigenous peoples’ illustrations employed an exaggerated caricature style, which owed much to the silhouette portrait tradition and the stylistic demands of the period.

Convict Artist Richard Browne’s Watercolors

  • Title:        Convict artist Richard Browne’s Watercolors
  • Artist:      Richard Browne
  • Year:        1821
  • Medium:  Watercolors on canvas
  • Museum:  National Gallery of Australia

Richard Browne

  • Artist:  Richard Browne
  • Born:   1771 – Dublin, Ireland
  • Died:   1824 – Sydney, Australia

A Tour of the National Gallery of Australia

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Australian Proverbs and Quotes


“Merciful heavens! Human treatment may even render human a man in whom the image of God has long ago been tarnished. It is these ‘unfortunates’ that must be treated in the most human fashion. This is their salvation and their joy.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky,


Photo Credits: 1) GM

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