French drawing of Bathurst sees auction daylight

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 20th March, 2015

An 1819 drawing of Bathurst by little known French midshipmen and naval draughtsman J. Alphonse Pellion (1796-1868) is one of the interesting drawcards at Leonard Joel’s fine art auction from 6.30pm Tuesday March 24 at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra.

Pellion was an officer aboard the Uraine that Louis-Claude de Freycinet commanded during a three-year scientific journey – from which the latter later authored the Atlas Historique.

On November 18, 1819 the corvette docked at Port Jackson and remained there for five weeks before sailing for France.

Pellion took the opportunity to visit the fledgling town of Bathurst, established by explorer Lieutenant William Lawson, and produced several watercolour sketches of the settlement and his travels through the Blue Mountains.

Entitled Voyage ā Bathurst (nouv. holl.) Une vue de Prospect Hill, Maison de Camp de M. Lawson 1819, the sketch provides an intimate and distinctly French perspective of the landscape.

The catalogue’s front cover image Danse du Printemps (Spring Dance) painted about 1889 is a pre-Raphaelite styled work by Rupert Bunny at a time when he was achieving international acclaim unequalled by any other Australian artist at the time.

Commissioned by Russell and Emily Coote for their new home “Lunchwood” at Limpsfield in Surrey, England, this is the first time the painting, which has remained in the family until now, has been offered for sale.

The arresting mid-20th century sculpture Guardant II 1979 by Centre Five founding member Vincas Jomantas is another work bound to grab the attention of auction goers.

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