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The Regatta Sydney Jan 26, 1848

Date: 26 January 1848
Overall: 341 x 410 x 10 mm
Medium: Pencil, white pastel, paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Drawing
Object No: 00019499
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    This sketch depicts the Anniversary Day Regatta on Sydney Harbour on 26 January 1848. It shows four larger boats on the harbour, a small boat and a schooner acting as a flag ship. The Anniversary Regatta marked the arrival of the first fleet to Sydney in 1788 and was an annually celebrated event.
    SignificanceThis drawing represents regattas held on Sydney Harbour during the mid-19th century. It is an example of the work of one of Australia's foremost maritime artists Oswald Brierly who actively recorded colonial life in New South Wales.
    HistoryRegattas were central to competitive boating in the 19th century and functioned as a social and sporting event, as well as a marker of official anniversaries in a public aquatic spectacle. Civic leaders, politicians and merchants offered patronage and sponsorship. Community regattas often featured several races, including rowing, sculling and sailing events usually for professional watermen and amateurs.

    The Anniversary Regatta was first held in 1837 after a group of citizens from Sydney decided to celebrate the landing of the First Fleet on 26 January 1788. The regatta consisted of rowing and sailing races and always had a flagship, usually a merchant ship or passenger liner. This social and sporting event was very popular with the public who would take picnic refreshments to the foreshore and attend balls and recitals in the evening. Today the regatta is known as the Australia Day Ferry race.

    Oswald Brierly was born in Chester, England in 1817 and after studying art and navigation he came to Australia on Benjamin Boyd's yacht WANDERER. Brierly managed Boyd's whaling station at Twofold Bay from 1842 until 1848 when he made a two year voyage with Captain Owen Stanley on HMS RATTLESNAKE recording surveys of the Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait, parts of New Guinea and the Louisiade Archipelago. Brierly returned to Sydney in 1848 and then sailed with Henry Keppel on HMS MEANDER to New Zealand, Tahiti, South America and Britain.

    Brierly visited Australia again in 1867-1868 when he accompanied the first Royal visit of HRH Prince Alfred Duke of Edinburgh on HMS GALATEA during its royal tour. Brierly exhibited with the Royal Academy between 1839 and 1872 when he was elected to the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours.
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