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Yango Mungo ye Yango of Bathurst's Plains
, 1824

by John Lewin and Moses Griffith (engraver)

copper engraving, hand-coloured (sheet: 19.5 cm x 12.4 cm)

John William Lewin (1770–1819), Australia’s first free-settler professional artist, arrived in Sydney in 1800. During 1801 and 1802, he accompanied two expeditions – to the Hunter River and Tahiti – as an unofficial natural history artist. Granted 100 acres of land at Parramatta in 1804, Lewin continued to collect specimens, completed numerous drawings and, with the assistance of his wife Anna Maria, engraved the plates for his books Prodromus Entymology (1805) and Birds of New Holland (1808). Moving to Sydney in 1809, Lewin worked as a wine and spirits merchant while also producing views and natural history works for clients such as Governors King and Macquarie and their spouses. He was part of the entourage accompanying Macquarie’s journey to Bathurst in 1815, and in 1817–18 he completed drawings of specimens collected during John Oxley’s explorations. Lewin’s Birds of New South Wales (1813) is the first illustrated book and the first natural history book produced in Australia. He is also thought to have made the country’s first oil painting, Fish catch and Dawes Point, Sydney Harbour.

Yango Mungo ye Yango was a Wiradjuri man described as a ‘native chief’, who is thought to have been encountered by Lewin as the artist accompanied Macquarie across the Blue Mountains in 1815.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2011
Accession number: 2011.70