This watercolour depicts the burning of the barque INDIA in the South Atlantic Ocean on 19 July 1841. The ship was on its way from Greenock, Scotland, to Port Phillip Bay, Victoria when it caught fire. The French whaling ship ROLAND is seen in the distance; it is this ship that rescued the survivors and took them to Brazil. More than a million people emigrated to the Australian colonies in the 19th century - fewer than 4,000 lost their lives in shipwrecks.


  • Title: Burning of the barque INDIA
  • Creator: Samuel Elyard
  • Date: 1841/1845
  • Location: Australia
  • Type: Painting
  • Significance: Disaster at sea was greatly feared by many of the emigrants coming to Australia. Fire, icebergs, collisions, storms and running ashore were just some of the hazards which could result in shipwreck.
  • See institution's online collections: http://www.anmm.gov.au/collections
  • Medium: Watercolour on paper
  • Dimensions: 417 x 550 x 2 mm, 4.7 kg
  • Credit line: ANMM Collection

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