Key inquiry questions:
• What was the role of the HMB Endeavour artists?
• How does the view from the ship provide us insight into the views from the shore?
Observations in Art
Sydney Parkinson and Alexander Buchan were employed by Joseph Banks to record through art the natural history of the South Pacific. Both men died during the voyage leaving behind significant artworks featuring landscapes, flora and fauna and the indigenous people of Polynesia and Australia. Buchan's legacy is in his illustrations of people in western Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Parkinson's many works provide pictorial evidence of what Australia was like before the Endeavour. His botanical drawings were used in Banks' Florilegium, a collection of engravings of plants collected by Banks and Solander on the voyage.
How did Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make observations of the natural world?
Australia before the Endeavour
View the gallery of artworks made by Sydney Parkinson on the East Coast of Australia. Engage in source analysis to evaluate the artworks as evidence for understanding what life in Australia was like before the arrival of Cook and the Endeavour.
What can we learn from the artworks produced on the Endeavour?
Main image: A View of Endeavour River, in New South Wales by Sydney Parkinson c 1790. ANMM Collection 00008751