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A Bay on the South Coast of New Holland, January 1802

Photo credit: Ministry of Defence Art Collection

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Fascinated by the potential mineral wealth of the newly-discovered Terra Australis (Australia), the Admiralty sent Captain Matthew Flinders to follow elements of Captain James Cook’s map and to explore, particularly, the South Coast of the new continent – between what is now known as Albany and Melbourne. The artist accompanying the voyage in 1801 was the very young William Westall. This particular painting is typical of his developing lyrical style: a superb landscape painter, his particular strengths were his ability to show strange trees and vegetation, such as the snake which is shown in the foreground.

Ministry of Defence


  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Measurements

    75 x 100 cm

  • Accession number


  • Acquisition method

    commissioned by the Admiralty (Matthew Flinders Expedition)


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Ministry of Defence

Main Building Horseguards Avenue Whitehall, London, Greater London SW1A 2HB England

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