The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia was the most ambitious publishing venture in Australian history during the 1800’s. It was conceived and financed by American publishers with the ambitious aim of being the most comprehensive survey of Australia’s colonial history using the best available artists, the best paper and the finest printing and engraving techniques. This doomed it to financial failure. However it left a legacy of some of the finest images and maps of Australia in the 19th Century. The Picturesque Atlas says of Fremantle of this time ‘… it presents no features either striking or attractive, the only building standing out from the rest being a vast prison, a relic of misdirected imperial expenditure in the convict days. A lately finished Town Hall and Anglian Church rising side by side are the only buildings of really handsome appearance which the Town possesses. The roadways are macadamised with limestone, unpleasantly reflecting the glare of the summer sun. Its streets however show signs of busy life and activity; its jetties are the scenes of brisk work and movement while its railway workshops and station buildings are on a scale indicative of the importance of the commercial traffic carried on with the capital.’ Julius Rossi Ashton was a painter, teacher and writer. He studied in England and France and came to Australia in 1878 becoming an influential member and supporter of the Arts Community. He established the Sydney Art School that survives today as the Julian Ashton School of Art.