William Strutt


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(1825–1915), artist, left his career in Europe as a book illustrator in the hope that colonial life would restore his health. He arrived in Melbourne in 1850 and almost immediately had work published in the Illustrated Australian Magazine. His interest in the history of the colony was fostered by John Pascoe Fawkner, who acted as a mentor and encouraged him to depict events in the developing colony. Strutt also maintained a detailed journal, of which the entries for 1850–62 were edited and published by George Mackaness in 1958. His portraits include notables, such as Fawkner and Robert O'Hara Burke, as well as his miniature watercolours of native police. He made many sketches of the departure of the Burke and Wills expedition and later used them for his oil painting, The Burial of Burke (1911). Other notable historical works are Black Thursday (1862–64), housed in the State Library of Victoria, which records the devastating Victorian bushfires of 1851, and Bushrangers, Victoria, Australia, 1852 (1887).


From The Oxford Companion to Australian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Australasian and Pacific History.

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