Susanna de Vries
This well-researched handsome book has become an Australian classic. Everyone with an interest in Sydney’s history should possess a copy. Painting, drawings and engravings by some of Australia’s finest artists record the establishment of the convict settlement. Through vivid text and colourful paintings we are transported back to the first hundred years of Old Sydney Town and watch it turn into a beautiful harbour city.
Unlike the earliest days of London, Paris or New York, Sydney’s founding years were recorded in watercolours and drawings by trained naval and military artists, which makes this book fascinating and unique. Its pages reveal aspects of Sydney’s daily life and development with cricket matches and picnic parties in the Domain, sailing races on the harbour, the paddocks of Paddington Village and the workers’ cottages of Balmain. The book is an important record of Sydney suburbs, colonial mansions, convict cottages and part of the city that have been destroyed as well as areas that have been restored and are part of Australia’s heritage.
The 120 paintings and sketches in the book bring to life the unique past of a city that has now evolved into a cosmopolitan capital and Olympic venue.