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Sir Joseph Banks

Date: 1812
Overall: 516 x 360 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00000892
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    Sir Joseph Banks is depicted in this black and white engraving after a painting by Thomas Phillips RA. Banks is shown as a very influential gentleman and elder statesman who continued his love of botany and investigation throughout his whole life. He had a great inluence in the scientific world and advised on many ventures as well as setting up the first British colonies in Australia.
    SignificanceThis engraving is representative of Sir Joseph Banks and his contribution to the study of natural sciences during the 19th century, including the collection and drawing of many specimens of Australian flora and fauna.
    HistorySir Joseph Banks was born at Westminster, England on 13 February 1743. Schooled at Harrow and Eton he displayed an early interest in the natural sciences. In 1764 after receiving his family's inheritance Banks left Oxford University where he was studying botany to spend his time examining plants in the practical world.

    In 1766 Banks joined HMS NIGER as it travelled to Newfoundland and collected many rock and natural specimens. He also conducted a number of field trips to collect and study plants, historic sites and rock formations. In 1766 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society.

    Banks' most famous survey work was completed as part of the Royal Navy's expedition under Lieutenant James Cook to the Pacific in HMB ENDEAVOUR. Equipped with a large fortune and a great interest in natural history, Banks was recommended to the British Admiralty by the Royal Society. Banks had a staff of eight in attendance including naturalists Daniel Solander, H D Sporing and the artists Alexander Buchan and Sydney Parkinson. Between 1768 and 1771 Banks with his staff collected large numbers of specimens including seeds, shells, insects and animals.

    The original painting by Phillips is held in the collection of the State Library of New South Wales.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Sir Joseph Banks

    Web title: Sir Joseph Banks

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