John Black Carmichael (1803-1857), artist and engraver, Karen Eaton

Vol 37 no 4, Nov 2015
Article from Vol 37 no 4, Nov 2015

John Black Carmichael (1803-1857), artist and engraver, Karen Eaton


Edinburgh-born John Carmichael arrived in Sydney in 1825, living and working there for over 30 years producing landscapes, portraits, maps, billheads, musical scores, illustrations and some of Australia’s first postage stamps. His works provide a revealing and valuable record of life and times in colonial Sydney. Until now, the published details of Carmichael’s life have been fragmentary. Confusion surrounds his name, his age and education, whether he came free or as a convict, if he was deaf, how many times he married, the number of his children and the distressing circumstances of the last months of his life. This new account of Carmichael’s life illustrates a few of his many works, which can be found in the National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, State Library of NSW, State Library of Victoria, the National Library of New Zealand and private collections. In 2011, the British Library reproduced Select views of Sydney, New South Wales. Drawn and engraved by John Carmichael.1

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The Australiana Society acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples – the First Australians – as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.