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William Charles Wylie (attrib)

Early Settlers, Ebenezer, N.S.W Australia 1803 and Church and School, Ebenezer, N,S,W, Australia 1809
Drawn and/or engraved by ‘Wyllie’ (the name appears on one image)
Inscribed with the titles in ink
9.0 x 13.7 cm

$950.00 including GST

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Comments: Early Settlers, Ebenezer, N.S.W., Australia, 1803 depicts a boating party on the banks of the river. Church and School, Ebenezer N.S.W. Australia 1809 depicts children arriving at school. Each image may be after an unknown drawing of Ebenezer, on the Hawkesbury River, NSW. This is suggested by the specific dates on each, 1803 and 1809. Alternatively, each image may be an imaginative re-creation made up to 100 years after the events they are depicting and the dates have been added arbitrarily. Certainly the style of these two works appears to be late-nineteenth century. The name ‘Wyllie’ engraved on one of the images may be either the artist or the engraver or both. One possibility is that the works are by the British artist Charles William Wyllie (1853-1923) who was exhibiting in Australia in the late-nineteenth century. He painted landscape and marine subjects (the Tate Gallery has an impressive beach scene titled ‘Digging for Bait, 1877). In Brisbane he exhibited The Departure of the Queen’s own Cameron Highlanders (79th) for the Soudan (presented to the Queensland Government) at the Queensland National Association Exhibition in 1887 (no. 2443B). An artist with the name ‘Wyllie’ (almost certainly Charles William Wyllie) exhibited Embarkation of the Coldstream Guards at the Queensland Art Society in 1892 (no. 143), listed in the catalogue as being with ‘The Government’. The possibility that the Wyllie named on the lettersheets is Charles William Wyllie is strengthened by a report in the Sunday Times (Sydney), 17 September, 1905: ‘When' Mr. C. W. Wyllie was completing his picture 'Trafalgar,' which has attracted much attention at this year's [Royal] Academy, he placed on the notice-board of the Royal Naval Barracks at Chatham a general invitation to come and view his picture. Sixteen officers accepted the invitation… to find any fault they could with its historical accuracy…’ From this report it would appear that Charles William Wyllie was an artist who specialized in researching the subjects of historical scenes. The artist of these lettersheets appears to have been attempting the same thing.

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