Wednesday, 23 January 2013

After Lewin

After seeing a wonderful exhibition of the works of J W Lewin in the National Library and then reading a book on his fascinating life, I was struck by how lucky we are to have had his works to give an insight into the nature of the early years in the colony of New South Wales.
Emigrating from London arriving in Sydney in 1800 he was the first professional naturalist, collector and artist  in the 12 year old colony.
He painted flora, insects, shells, birds, animals, aboriginals and landscapes of Sydney and the countryside visited with explorers.
He was the first print maker with commissions from many wealthy patrons in Sydney and back in England, where the fascinating nature of the colony was much in demand.
In 1813 he became the first person to print an illustrated book in Australia and that book " Birds of New South Wales" - if you have a copy will bring in the vicinity of $500,000. 
Unfortunately he became seriously ill and died at the age of 49 after only 19 years in Australia.

 I thought I should again feature one of the two Australian birds that are named in his honour.


  1. wow, love your blog! my eyes were drawn to the Lewin's Honeyeater image as down here in Gippsland they are a local favourite of mine. The background information was really interesting ($500,000 for Lewin's book...whoa!!). I hope you don't mind that I shared your post on Google+ with a couple of birding groups, and I joined your site as a member registering with my bird blog 'Na nÉan'. (My blog has been neglected as I've been too busy with my family's new baby's arrival!) I'm just beginning to get back into birding and blogging. Your blog was a lovely re-introduction and has rekindled my enthusiasm for birding, so thank you so much Ian! ~Cindy ps. I hope to update my blog soon and would be honoured if you took a peek at it when it's updated ;)

  2. Hi Cindy and welcome to my blog and I am pleased that you like the postings. I have a lot of fun with the photography and trying to get something posted on a regular basis. Quite happy for you to share the site and I will look forward to seeing the additions to your site when you get them up.
    Lewin Honeyeaters are one of our resident birds so see them just about every day and they are very engaging birds although at time a little bossy with the smaller honeyeaters.