A fine early topographical painting of Sydney from the north shore by the first formally trained professional artist to reside in Australia. Conrad Martens (1801-78) arrived in Sydney in April 1835. He became the most desired artist by the elite of the colony. ‘… a contemporary of both Prout and Angas and a greater artist than either’ (Wantrup). Born near London in 1801, his training was at the hand of the landscape painter Copley Fielding. In 1832 he was invited to join HMS Hyacinth to India. Whilst in South America he replaced the official artist of HMS Beagle at Montevideo and ultimately took another vessel to Tahiti. This particular painting has been identified as illustrating the town from across the harbour at what is now Blues Point Road. From the buildings present it has been dated to between 1840 and 1842. Indeed, in 1842 as the poor economy was hitting Martens, he published a fine extremely rare lithograph also from the north shore. A series of twenty lithographs in and around Sydney was published 1850-51.A similar painting by Martens is preserved in the State Library of New South Wales ( Wantrup (1987) pp. 318-9.