09 Sep, 2019

Witness History at Adelaide Town Hall today

A newly-discovered 180-year-old painting by Colonel William Light will be on show today by Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor in Adelaide Town Hall at 10:00am.

Created in 1837, in the same year Colonel Light surveyed and laid out Adelaide, Elder Fine Art has described the discovery of The Commencement of Colonisation in South Australia as hugely significant.

The painting has been safely held in private hands for 182 years – and in a local garage since the 1980s – before its discovery and transfer to Melbourne Street’s Elder Fine Arts for valuation.

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said the watercolour is a remarkable piece of Adelaide’s history and was pleased to see that it had been preserved so well.

“Colonel William Light is most well-known for the grid design of Adelaide and the Park Lands, however what is less known is that he was also a prolific artist,” she says.

“Sadly, many of his works were lost forever in a fire in January 1839, which makes this astounding find all the more important in understanding our city’s early history and I can’t wait for it to be on show at Town Hall today.”

The Art Gallery of South Australia owns the only other known watercolour of this scene but recent investigative work indicates this particular work was painted earlier.

For more information

Matt Halliwell