Gracius Broinowski

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Gracius Broinowski.jpg
Plate illustration from "The Birds of Australia", Gracius Broinowski 1890.

Gracius Joseph Broinowski (7 March 1837 – 11 April 1913) was an Australian artist and ornithologist. He was born at the village of Walichnowy in central Poland, the son of a landowner and military officer.[1] He studied languages, classics and art at Munich University. In about 1857 he joined the crew of a windjammer bound for Australia, leaving the ship at Portland, Victoria.[2]

Broinowski spent the next few years doing various jobs, including working for a publisher in Melbourne, selling and promoting his paintings, and travelling widely in eastern Australia. He married Jane Smith, the daughter of a whaling captain, in about 1863. In 1880 he settled in Sydney, teaching painting, lecturing on art and holding exhibitions of his own work.[2]

In the 1880s he began to publish illustrated works on Australian natural history. First came "The Birds and Mammals of Australia", followed in 1888 by "The Cockatoos and Nestors of Australia and New Zealand", and "The Birds of Australia" in 1891.[2]

Broinowski died at Mosman in Sydney, survived by his wife, six sons and a daughter. One son, Leopold, became a significant political journalist in Tasmania.[2]


  1. ^ Hindwood, K. A. (1966). "Gracius Joseph Broinowski: His Books and his Prospectuses". Australian Zoologist. 13 (4): 357–369. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Chisholm, A.H. (1969). Broinowski, Gracius Joseph (1837 - 1913). Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3, p.239. Melbourne University Press.[1] accessed 6 March 2009.

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