PB. 496 pp. 220x156. Full colour.
LIMITED EDITION 200 numbered copies
Augustus Earle (1793 - 1838) was a highly-accomplished painter and sketch artist, as well as an insightful commentator on the cultures he encountered during a period of rapid European colonisation in the early nineteenth century. By the time of his death, he had become the most widely-travelled independent professional artist of the age.
At age seventeen, after completing his studies at the Royal Academy, Earle left England and travelled, supporting himself entirely from his art. Ever energetic, his known output of over two hundred paintings, sketches and lithographs stretched from the bustling centres of the Mediterranean, North and South America, Australia, South East Asia, and India, to more remote locations such as New Zealand, and the almost barren island of Tristan da Chuna in the Atlantic Ocean.
Unusually, Earle focussed to a significant extent on the indigenous peoples in the countries he visited. The result is a body of work that reveals the sometimes intimate cultural contacts between Europeans and others. In Brazil he was almost fixated by the plight of slaves; in Hobart and Sydney the Aborigines; and in the north of New Zealand, the Maori. For this reason, Earle is an important historical as well as artistic figure today, with his paintings and writings offering us a unique glimpse into societies on the cusp of radical change.
In 1830, due to ill health, he returned to London from Madras. But ever adventurous, in 1832 he took up the post as draughtsman on the Beagle as it set sail on its soon-to-be famous voyage. However persistent sickness forced him off the ship at Montevideo and he made his way back home to London. There he lived his last years in declining health while working on a final book – the manuscript now lost – on his travels.
Because of his long absence from the London art world, Augustus Earle never received significant recognition during his lifetime. Indeed, it is only from the mid-twentieth century that his importance has been recognised.
After almost a decade of research in archives throughout the world, Paul Moon gives us a rich account of Earle's life and art. Generously illustrated, with detailed references, picture notes, and analyses, as well as an in-depth consideration of Earle's life and times, Framing the World is a truly definitive study of this important artist and his works.
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