Portrait Miniature;Thomas Australius Makdougall Brisbane

Production date
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Object Detail

Miniature painted portrait of a male, stored in oval gold-coloured mounting with ring at top.
CH classification FINE ARTS
L116 x W72 x H8 mm
Media/Materials description
Indeterminate (Paper)
Indeterminate (Metals - Indeterminate)
History and use
This portrait miniature was the property of Sir Thomas Brisbane, after whom the city of Brisbane, Queensland is named. It depicts his son Thomas Australius Makdougall Brisbane, who was born in New South Wales in 1824. There is a matching portrait of Sir Thomas’ daughter Eleanor Australia Makdougall Brisbane (H2343).

Sir Thomas Brisbane was born in Scotland in 1789 and as a British soldier served in Flanders, the West Indies, Canada and Spain, before becoming the governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. At this time the area which became known as Queensland was part of New South Wales. He was keenly interested in astronomy, a field in which he was influential throughout the rest of his life. He established an observatory during his time as governor, in Parramatta, and the planetarium opened in Brisbane in 1978 is named in honour of him.

Portrait miniatures first appeared in the 1520s in the royal courts of France and England, and reached the height of their popularity in the early 19th century. Miniatures such as this one were designed to be carried privately by loved ones in the same way a photograph may today be carried in a wallet.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
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