Panorama of Sydney, New South Wales.

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Panorama of Sydney, New South Wales.


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Sydney Gazette (Sydney)


9 May 1829, p.3, col.3.

Publication date

9 May 1829


Exhibition review



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Mr Burford is as active as he is able. He has scarcely finished a panorama of the capital of one of the most civilized countries in Europe when he presents us with another, planted in one of the most uncivilized, and at a distance of nearly 16,000 miles. We learn from the account, that this Panorama was executed from drawings made by Mr Earle, under the inspection of Lieutenant Colonel Dumaresq, by whom they were brought to England, and to whom Mr Burford makes his acknowledgments for the useful information he has obtained from him during the progress of the painting. The view is bold, varied, and beautiful. In the foreground lies the town, with its irregular and singular buildings stretching to the very edge of the extensive bay, whose blue waters and green islands are bounded on the opposite side by a bold and precipitous shore, varied by numerous coves, and covered with native shrubs in perpetual verdure, from amongst which variously coloured rocks show their rugged heads; towards the east, the eye stretches over a chain of commanding and almost barren cliffs that mark the bearings of the coast; to the south, over the beautiful country that surrounds Botany Bay; and to the west, over an infinite variety of hill and dale, backed by immense and towering forests, beyond which the magnificent chain of the Blue Mountains forms an imposing boundary to a most beautiful and interesting coup-d’ail. – Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, and the seat of the Government of the Colony is situated on the south side of the harbour of Port Jackson, four miles and a half from the Pacific Ocean; it is built principally on two hill necks of land running into the harbour (forming the cove) and the intervening valley. In the hollow a small rill trickles towards the head of the Cove; along this hollow runs the principal a street, (George street,) the length of which is nearly two miles; all the other streets run parallel to or intersect George street at right angles, ascending the heights on both sides, making the extreme width about half a mile. The appearance of this town is wild and irregular; the number of houses (1100) being by no means commensurate with its superficial extent; many public buildings are seen, particularly the ridge commonly called St James’s, from being the residence of the higher classes, where the Colonial Hospital, St James’s Church, the Catholic Chapel, beyond which lies Hyde park, and the prisoners’ barracks, are objects worthy attention; on the opposite ridge, called the Rocks, are the old church, the Scotch kirk, and the handsome military barracks.
If we may judge from the execution, this has been a favourite subject with the Artist, and doubtless it will be so also with the public. With his usual good sense, Mr Burford has introduced, besides many European figures, several groups of Natives, employed in their exercises and sports; and that useful animal the kangaroo is likewise seen playfully sporting on the turf. The scent is altogether delightful – a bright atmosphere, serene sky, hills, dales, sheets of water studded with vessels, a picturesque town under your eye, and blue mountains in the distance – Such is Sydney and its vicinity, the abode, unfortunately, of gentlemen, whose enjoyments, for the main part, do not arise from the contemplation of subjects especially calculated for the fine Arts. But this, by the way, is perhaps quite as well; for were a certain numerous body of individuals, whose notions respecting the rights of property are not over strict, in the habit of visiting Panoramas, this of Sydney would cause such a yearning after a residence in that attractive spot, that a transportable offence would become as common as lying, and Hicks’s Hall and the Old Bailey be looked upon merely as rude passages leading to an earthly paradise.

[Published in Sydney Gazette, 9 May 1829, p. 3, col. 3.]