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Eugene von Guérard


Eugene von Guerard | Austria/Australia 1811-1901 | A View from Mt Franklin towards Mount Kooroocheang and the Pyrenees c.1864 | Oil on canvas | Purchased 2008 with funds from Philip Bacon, AM, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Eugene von Guérard

A view from Mt Franklin towards Mount Kooroocheang and the Pyrenees c.1864

Eugene von Guérard, who trained in Rome under Giovan Battista Bassi and also in Düsseldorf, painted in the tradition of German romantic landscape painters such as Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840). Von Guérard came to Australia in 1852 and stayed for almost 30 years. In that time he became the most important artist in the Australian colonies. Von Guérard travelled extensively throughout Victoria, southern Australia and New Zealand and, like many colonial artists, painted in his studio from extensive preparatory drawings made in the field. His work A view from Daylesford towards the Pyrenees is derived from an eight-week sketching trip north-west of Melbourne.

This serene view shows land recently explored; the westward thrust into the wilderness that was to become the Western Districts of Victoria is represented by two diminutive figures in the foreground, one presumably the artist. In this picturesque, golden-toned panorama of the morning sun striking the distant slopes of Hepburn Hill, von Guérard suggests the opportunities open to energetic settlers of his day.