ACTIVITY 3

Learning to Paint Kangaroos

The earliest British arrivals in Sydney Cove had difficulty painting kangaroos even though they saw and ate them regularly. Here are three commentaries on why this may have been so:

The first European-trained anatomical painter to arrive at the Sydney Cove colony was John Lewin, who arrived in 1800 (a little later than planned as he had missed the boat in England!).

Search the SurgiCat catalogue of the Royal College of Surgeons of London (don’t confuse it with the RCS of Glasgow) using the terms ‘Lewin Kangaroos’:

Click on each image to bring up details of the provenance of each painting:

Note the word ‘supposedly’. There are two main unresolved issues about the paintings. Are they oil paintings? – Activity 4; Where were they painted? – Activity 5