Archive:

HISTORY WEEK Kangaroo: The evolution of an image

When George Stubbs painted the first portrait of a kangaroo by a European, he did so based only on a skin and some rough sketches brought back by Sir Joseph Banks, who travelled on the Endeavour with Captain James Cook.

Interestingly, Stubb’s painting – and the many subsequent engravings it generated – produced a standardised way of seeing kangaroos in Australia for much of the nineteenth century.

John Simons explores how the way we view the kangaroo is affected by visual and cultural representations such as Stubb’s image and addresses some of the ways in which other images challenged the Stubbsian orthodoxy.

FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC