Henry Boucher Bowerman View of Brisbane Watercolour

Henry Boucher Bowerman (1789-1840)1835

State Library of Queensland

State Library of Queensland
South Brisbane, Australia

This pen and ink and grisaille (wash) painting shows the settlement of Moreton Bay, New South Wales in 1835. It is the earliest known signed and dated painting of the future township of Brisbane. Henry Boucher Bowerman was born in England in 1794. In November 1812, he passed the entry examination to the Commissariat Department, and was posted to the Moreton Bay Settlement in 1830, where he served as Deputy Assistant Commissary General until 1835. This position involved responsibility for the building materials and other supplies to the colony. This painting is known to have still been in Brisbane in November 1862, as the editor of the Courier saw it and wrote a small piece about it in the paper. After this nothing further was heard of the painting until it showed up for auction at Christies in London in 1981. The painting was bought at auction and returned to Brisbane before being sold to the John Oxley Library in late 1982.


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