Born in 1822, George French Angas was a remarkably talented English artist who studied natural history painting before living a life abroad filled with art and nature. He embarked on his travels and arrived in Adelaide in 1844. While journeying through the Murray River, Barossa, Fleurieu Peninsula and Limestone Coast, his acquired skills came into use as he captured impressions of the new colony in watercolour. This magnificent sixty-plate folio South Australia Illustrated was then published by Thomas M'Lean back in London.
Until late September 2021, you have the opportunity to see some of these early snapshots which feature the beautiful inhabitants, landscape, flora and fauna of South Australia at that time. One such painting is the Kapunda copper mine as it appeared in 1845 after about two years of ongoing operations. Approximately 1500 tons of carbonates and sulphurets ores had then been raised.
Two others that stood out in my mind are the coast scene near Rapid Bay and the view of Barossa's Angas Park. They both represented the sky, hills and trees in great detail. Notice that exquisite rose colour being reflected at sunset? Or, spot those gum wattle and native cherry in the foreground?
South Australia Illustrated is on display at the Treasures Wall in the State Library of South Australia during opening hours. From the main entrance, just head up the stairs and turn left. Entry is free.