The eight finely drawn watercolours depict the scenery of Rio de Janeiro. George French Angas made these images in December 1845, during a short layover in Rio on his return voyage to England from Australia
On his homeward voyage to England in late 1845, Angas’s ship underwent repairs at Rio de Janeiro and was delayed there for ten days. Sketchbook in hand, he wasted no time in exploring Rio and its spectacular surrounds. As the title page image suggests, the energetic young artist planned a large folio publication of lithographs based on these watercolours. This never transpired and apart from his preparatory pencil sketches, these eight watercolours are the only images known to have survived from Angas’s Rio visit. Aged just 23, Angas reveals himself as a consummate watercolourist, capturing the South American light and palette, and combining landscapes with accurate street portraiture and fine detail of Rio’s architectural features.