Printed from Catalogue on Sunday, Oct 17 2021

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1814 - Views on the South Coast of Terra Australis. Plate XVII

Map makerSizeMap IDCondition
William Westall
Matthew Flinders
480 x 720 mmD1 / M330 / I298Good condition. Please contact us for a full condtion report.

These 7 views of the coastline between Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia to Cape Wiles in South Australia are an interesting and important relic from Flinders famous journey during the circumnavigation of Australia between 1801 and 1803 and are of a very high quality. The artwork was completed by Westall who was present on the voyage. The views have an interesting purpose of art, navigation and representation and are among a number of plates that Westall captured during the voyage.

Views were often found in sea chart atlases up until the early 1800s when improved technology in navigation and the use of accurate tools allowed most ships to determine an exact position. Prior to this views could be used in conjunction with a chart to determine location and position. Now these views offer an excellent snapshot of the coastline untouched by Europeans and with signs of the local inhabitants with smoke from their fires rising into the air. It is interesting that Westall chose to depict this on the views.

The 7 views featured are of the following places Cape Leeuwin, the south-west extremity of Western Australia taken Dec. 7 1801, Cape Chatham taken Dec. 8, 1801, Eclipse Isles taken Dec. 8, 1801, Seal Island in K. George's Sound taken Dec. 9 1801, Middle Island in the Archipelago of the Recherche taken May 17, 1803, Cliffs, distant 5 or 6 miles taken Jan. 26, 1802, Cape Wiles taken Feb. 19, 1802.

These views are printed in 1814 shortly before the death of Flinders. Published as the Act directs by G and W Nicol Pall Mall, May 2, 1814.

Matthew Flinders (1774-1814) was an accomplished navigator and cartographer, having circumnavigated the Australian continent, proved that Tasmania was not joined to the mainland, and played a major part in the naming of Australia. Despite Flinders’ short life he accomplished some exceptional feats. His charts were of a particularly high standard and though published in 1814, many continued to be republished and used until recent years. Flinders’ most famous chart was of the Australian continent, published in 1814, which is famously named ‘General Chart of Terra Australis or Australia’. It was the first prominent chart to specifically label the continent as Australia. Sadly, Flinders journeys were marked by some disappointments including shipwrecks, poor vessels, and most notably his six year imprisonment by the French on Mauritius. His imprisonment meant that he was not the first to publish the newly discovered regions of Australia or a ‘complete’ map of the continent. However in 1814 shortly before his death his famous atlas was released with 16 charts detailing a majority of the Australian coastline.

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