(England, Australia, Germany, Austria 17 Nov 1811–17 Apr 1901)
83.7 x 66.1cm stretcher; 105.5 x 86.8 x 9.0cm frame
'A fig tree on American Creek, near Wollongong, NSW' depicts an enormous native fig tree set amongst cabbage-tree palms and other sub-tropical vegetation, apparently viewed against the Illawarra escarpment, south of Sydney. Staying at the Fig Tree Hotel near Wollongong in late 1859, Eugene von Guérard drew the well-known nearby giant fig tree. This, together with two sketches of American Creek, provided the basis for this painting, produced in his Melbourne studio two years later.
Von Guérard’s signature placement of a figure within the landscape is positioned to promote a sense of the grandeur of nature, on both a physical and metaphysical level, giving expression to the Romantic spirit at its most intensely symbolic.
Ruth Pullin (Australia) (Author), Eugene von Guérard: nature revealed, Melbourne, 2011, 161 (colour illus.), 163, 290.
John McPhee (Author), Red cedar in Australia, Glebe, 2004, 44-49. General reference
‘When science meets art: Humboldt, von Guérard and the Australian wilderness’ by Christopher Heathcote, pg. 27-31., Art Monthly Australia Nov 2001, Nov 2001, 27-31.
Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Domain, 2000, 18, 28 (colour illus.), 300.
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 106 (colour illus.).
'Close-Ups of the Collection', pg. 6., Look Nov 1997, Nov 1997, 6 (illus.).
'Immovable heritage' by Terry Ingram, pg. 380-381., Art and Australia (Vol. 34, No. 3) 1997, 1997, 380 (illus.), 381.
'Three for the gallery' by Peter Cochrane, pg. 16., The Sydney Morning Herald 20 Sep 1996, 20 Sep 1996, 16.
Ken Orchard (Australia, b.1959) (Author), Illawarra: the garden of New South Wales, Wollongong, 1994, 20, 23 ( illus.), 41. cat.no. 70
Rod Ritchie (Author), Seeing the rainforests in 19th-century Australia, Paddington, 1989, 75-77, 84 (colour illus.), 159. Private Collection, Victoria. On loan to the City of Hamilton Art Gallery.
Gael Newton (Australia) (Author), Shades of Light - Photography and Australia 1839-1988, Sydney, 1988, 26, 30, 33. General reference to early photography in Australia
Christine France (Australia) (Author), The Illawarra & environs: a pictorial survey, Wollongong, 1988. cat.no. 40; titled 'Figtree, Amerikan Creek near Wollongong'; collection: private collection loan to City of Hamilton Art Gallery
Michael Organ (Australia) (Author), Conrad Martens in Illawarra, 1835: in search of the picturesque /, New South Wales, 1987. References artist working in the area
Stephen Dover (Australia) (Author), Illawarra heritage: an introduction to a region, Wollongong, 1983, 19, 24, 37-43. General reference
Dianne Reilly (Australia) (Author), Jennifer Carew (Australia) (Author), Sun pictures of Victoria: the Fauchery-Daintree collection, 1858, South Yarra, 1983, 9, 12, 13, 76, 77. General reference to early photography in Australia
Candice Bruce (Australia) (Author), Edward Cornstock (Author), Frank McDonald (Australia) (Author), Eugene von Guérard: A German Romantic in the Antipodes, Martinborough, 1982, 31, 32, 176, 122, 215 (colour illus.). cat.no. 62; plate no. 27
'Eugen von Guérard and the Hudson River School: Romantics in the wilderness' by Candice Bruce, pg. 158-164., Art and Australia (Vol. 18, No. 2) Summer 1980, Summer 1980, 161 (colour illus.), 162.
Candice Bruce (Australia) (Author), Eugen von Guérard, Canberra, 1980, 51, 58 (colour illus.), 59, 104 (illus.).
Marjorie Tipping (b.1917) (Author), Eugen von Guérard's Australian Landscapes, Melbourne, 1975, 19-23, 66, 72, 106.
C.F. Nicholls (Australia) (Editor), Victorian men of the time, Melbourne, 1877, 75.
Illustrated Australian News - Supplement 27 Jul 1867, 27 Jul 1867, 8-13.
'Eugene von Guerard’, pg. 24., The Melbourne leader: a weekly journal of news, politics and literature 06 Jul 1867, 06 Jul 1867, 24. ‘Figtree on the American Creek, Wollongong’, for Henry Youngman, Esq., is listed as one of a group of principle pictures painted by the artist in Melbourne since 1854.
Age 03 Oct 1864, 03 Oct 1864.
'Victorian Art exhibition', pg. 12., The Melbourne leader: a weekly journal of news, politics and literature 05 Oct 1861, 05 Oct 1861, 12.
Argus 03 Oct 1861, 03 Oct 1861, 5.
Charles Summers (Australia) (Author), Catalogue of the Victorian exhibition of fine arts, Melbourne, 1861, 4. cat.no. 15; titled 'A Fig Tree on the American Creek, near Wollongong, NSW'.
Barron Field (Australia, b.1786, d.1846) (Author), Geographical memoirs on New South Wales, London, 1825. General reference of topography encountered
Victorian exhibition of fine arts (1861), Studio of Charles Summers, 1861–1861.
Eugene von Guérard, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Jun 1980–Jul 1980.
Eugene von Guérard, Queensland Art Gallery, Aug 1980–Aug 1980.
Eugene von Guérard, City of Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Sep 1980–Oct 1980.
Eugene von Guérard, Art Gallery of South Australia, Nov 1980–Nov 1980.
Eugene von Guérard, National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Dec 1980–Jan 1981.
The Illawarra & environs: a pictorial survey, Wollongong City Gallery, 09 Jun 1988–31 Jul 1988.
Eugene von Guérard: nature revealed, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, 16 Apr 2011–07 Aug 2011.
Eugene von Guérard: nature revealed, Queensland Art Gallery, 17 Dec 2011–04 Mar 2012.
Eugene von Guérard: nature revealed, National Gallery of Australia, 27 Apr 2012–15 Jul 2012.