Ref NoMS/630
TitleArtwork of animals, birds and fish - John William Lewin
AdminHistoryJohn William Lewin (1770 – 27 August 1819) was an English-born naturalist and artist active in Australia from 1800. The first professional artist of the colony of New South Wales, he illustrated the earliest volumes of Australian natural history.

Lewin was the son of a professional scientific artist, William Lewin, who was a Fellow of the Linnean Society and the author of an eight-volume work The Birds of Great Britain (1789–94). William Lewin's two sons, John William and Thomas, worked with him preparing work. William acknowledges their work in the preface to his book. Around 1797, John Lewin was keen to visit New South Wales and he planned to travel on the Buffalo for New South Wales in 1798 to record ornithological and entomological life for a British patron, Dru Drury. Unfortunately he missed this voyage but his wife, Anna Maria, travelled on it and arrived 3 May 1799. Lewin followed after arriving on 11 January 1800. He made a number of expeditions to enlarge his collections and do research for publications. In 1804 Governor King granted Lewin a 100-acre farm near Parramatta but by 1808 they were living in Sydney, where Lewin advertised doing portraits and miniatures. He produced a number of watercolours which were greatly admired, including natural history subjects, landscapes and of Aboriginals. He died on 27 August 1819. His wife and son returned to England.
DescriptionComprises an array of artwork by John William Lewin: 5 pencil sketches of fish: 3 watercolour drawings of birds (labelled on the reverse of each: 'Satin Bird, shot at the Five Islands, feeds on the White Cedar berries' and 'Bittern, the Blue Mountains'); 1 watercolour drawing of a Tasmanian Tiger, and 2 pencil sketches of Koalas [?]

Also includes a note: "13 Birds, Fish, &c. from N.S. Wales, drawn by Mr Lewin & humbly presented to the Linnean Society, for their acceptance by their ob't serv't Thos. Lister Paerker, March 19 1821"
Date[1800-1817]
LevelFile
Extent1 folder
LanguageEnglish
Creator NameLewin, John William
Access_StatusOpen
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