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An image of Waterfall, Strath Creek by Eugene von Guérard
Alternate image of Waterfall, Strath Creek by Eugene von Guérard

Eugene von Guérard

(England, Australia, Germany, Austria 17 Nov 1811 – 17 Apr 1901)

Waterfall, Strath Creek
Place of origin
Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas

83.2 x 65.7 cm stretcher; 82.4 x 65.7 cm sight; 107.4 x 90.7 x 6.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l. corner, red oil "Eug.v.Guerard/ .../ 1862".
Purchased 1967
Accession number
19th c Australian art
Further information

Viennese-born, and trained in Italy and Germany, Eugene von Guérard arrived at the Victorian goldfields in 1852. After two years of limited success, he moved to Melbourne to resume his career as a painter and settled there for the next 28 years, becoming a teacher at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School.

In January 1862, von Guérard made an exploratory expedition along the upper reaches of the Goulburn River in Victoria. Among various sketches, he made a large drawing of Strath Creek Falls (now Murchison Falls), later working it up in his studio. 'Waterfall, Strath Creek' is imbued with a sense of awe and wonder, reflecting the German Romantic belief in painting as an expression of personal insight into the divine.

Bibliography (39)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 70 (colour illus.).

Candice Bruce, Edward Cornstock and Frank McDonald, Eugene von Guérard: A German Romantic in the Antipodes, Martinborough, 1982, 36, 37, 124, 125 (colour illus.), 219. 72; 28

Candice Bruce, Eugen von Guérard, Canberra, 1980, 54, 55 (colour illus.), 69, 106 (illus.).

Helen Campbell, Look, 'Waterfall: an inspiration to travellers and artists', pg. 19, Newtown, Jun 2006, 19 (colour illus.).

Edmund Capon and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'Australian Art in the Old Courts', pg. 24-37, Sydney, 1984, 25 (colour illus.). 4

Christie's, Australia Pty. Ltd., 26/08/2001 Christie's Contemporary Sydney, South Yarra, 2001, 83. lot no. 89; Julia Ciccarone's 'Struggle to define', oil on canvas, 134.0 x 181.0cm, based on Eugene von Guérard's painting 'Waterfall, Strath Creek'.

Deutscher-Menzies, Sydney and Lawson-Menzies, Deutscher-Menzies & Lawson-Menzies, Sydney: Major fine art auction - 25 March 2009, Sydney, 2009, 76. Quote by Fred Williams stating he found this work inspiring.

Mary Eagle, Imants Tillers - Poem of ecstasy, 'Imants Tillers', pg. 3-6, Victoria, 1990, 6, 17 (colour illus.). 5,; 'Untitled (Deaf)', 1989, references von Guérard's painting.

Mary Eagle, The Age, ‘The man who preceded the Heidelberg School’, pg. 8, Melbourne, 24 Dec 1980, 8.

Hannah Fink (Editor), Art and Australia (vol. 34, no. 3), North Ryde, 1997, 10, 11 (colour illus.).

Paul Fox and Jennifer Phipps, Sweet damper and gossip: colonial sightings from the Goulburn and North-east, Benalla, 1994, 20 (colour illus.), 22, 27.

James Gleeson, Masterpieces of Australian painting, Melbourne, 1969, 47 (colour illus.).

James Gleeson, Colonial painters, 1788-1880, Sydney, 1971, 79 (colour illus.). 67

Deborah Hart, Fred Williams: infinite horizons: secondary school education resource, Canberra, 2011, 209, 210 (colour illus.). 'Art history' card

Deborah Hart, William Delafield Cook, Sydney, 1998, 171 (colour illus.), 172.

Deborah Hart, Fred Williams: infinite horizons, 'Infinite horizons', pg. 156-183, Canberra, 2011, 168, 169, 209, 210 (colour illus.).

Lois Hunter, The Australian art companion - A selection of influential artists, Balgowlah Heights, (1990), 40, 41 (illus.).

A. Frances Johnson, Eugene's falls, North Melbourne, 2007, cover (colour illus.). Fictional recreation of the artist's life.

Alan McCulloch, The golden age of Australian painting - Impressionism and the Heidelberg school, Melbourne, 1969, 2, 3 (colour illus.), 4.

Ewen McDonald (Editor), AGNSW Collection Sydney, Sydney, 1994, 10, 11 (colour illus.).

John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Earthly pleasures', pg. 14-15, Sydney, 23 Jul 2011-24 Jul 2011, 14 (colour illus.), 15. NOTE: This article was published in the 'Sectrum' section of the newspaper.

Menzies Art Brands Pty Ltd [Sydney], Menzies, Melbourne: Australian & International Fine Art 24 March 2011, Sydney, 2011, 62. Work being sold was 'Lysterfield Hillside II' by Fred Williams.

Linda van Nunen, Studio collections, 'William Delafield Cook', pg. 148-151, Double Bay, Dec 1987-Jan 1988, 150 ( illus.), 151.

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 15, 16 (illus.).

Barry Pearce, Fifteen decades of Australian paintings, Sydney, 1981, (colour illus.). 4

Barry Pearce, A century of Australian landscape: mood and moment, Sydney, 1983, 14, 20, 21 (colour illus.).

Phillips, Son & Neale, Catalogue of paintings, drawings & prints being a collection of pictures of Australia and New Zealand, the Pacific Isles and elsewhere: expeditionary, Aboriginal and colonial views, scenes, etc. Chiefly 19th century., ‘A Collection of Pictures of Australia and New Zealand, the Pacific Isles and elsewhere: Expeditionary, Aboriginal and Colonial Views, Scenes, etc.’, London, 1966. lot no. 2; titled 'Pioneers exploring a Waterfall’; not paginated

Ruth Pullin, Eugene von Guérard: nature revealed, 'The new landscape: Rome and Naples', pg. 48-75, Melbourne, 2011, front cover (colour illus., detail), 61, 205, 208, 209 (colour illus.), 210, 291.

Anne Ryan, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Colonial eyes', pg. 17-36, Sydney, 2000, 18, 29 (colour illus.), 300.

Andrew Sayers, Australian art, Oxford, 2001, 211, 212.

Lynne Seear, Darkness & light: the art of William Robinson, 'Introduction: the problem of interpretation', pg. 18-23, South Brisbane, 2001, 20 (colour illus.).

Alison Small, Art and Artists of Australia, South Melbourne, 1981, (colour illus.). not paginated

Daniel Thomas (Editor), Aodaliya feng jing hua zhan lan (1802-1975), ‘The Australian Landscape 1802-1975’, Hong Kong, 1975. Note: catalogue printed in Chinese. English translation enclosed; 26; not paginated

Daniel Thomas, Art and Australia [vol. 10, no. 1], 'Australian collection', pg. 52-62, Sydney, Jul 1972, 53 (colour illus.).

David Thomas, Society of Artists Spring Exhibition, 'Works from the Wesfarmers collection of Australian art part 1: lots 1-23’, pg. 30-3, Sydney, 1912, 30. A work influenced by ‘Waterfall, Strath Creek’ offered at the Deutscher and Hackett sale 'Works from the Wesfarmers collection of Australian art’, Melbourne, 29 August 2012, 'lot no. 9, Fred Williams ‘Turritable Falls 1’ 1979.

Marjorie Tipping, Eugen von Guérard's Australian Landscapes, Melbourne, 1975, 48, 56, 78, 80, 84,94,98,109, 110, 112. References to other waterfall subjects by Von Guerard

Editor Unknown (Editor), 1967 Acquisitions, Sydney, 1967, 24-25.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, Sydney, Jul 1968, 410, 416 (illus.).

Author Unknown, Australian landscape series, Sydney, 1987, (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (9)

Collection of pictures of Australia and New Zealand, the Pacific Isles and elsewhere: Expeditionary, Aboriginal and Colonial Views, Scenes. Chiefly 19th Century., Phillips, Son & Neale, London, 20 May 1966–24 May 1966

Acquisitions 1967, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Mar 1968–01 Apr 1968

The Australian Landscape 1802-1975:

Eugene von Guérard:

Fifteen decades of Australian painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 Apr 1981–24 May 1981

A century of Australian landscape painting: mood and moment:

Sweet Damper and Gossip - Colonial sightings from Goulburn and the North East:

Australian Collection Focus: Waterfall, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 May 2006–16 Jul 2006

Eugene von Guérard: nature revealed: