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Australian art

Western art

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Pulpit Rock, Cape Schanck, Victoria



Nicholas Chevalier

United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand

09 May 1828 - 15 Mar 1902


A keen artist–traveller in the Romantic tradition, Nicholas Chevalier concentrated on effects of atmosphere, mood and dramatic lighting in his depictions of the iconic natural wonders he found at Cape Schanck, on the southernmost tip of Mornington Peninsula.

When Chevalier sketched the fantastically carved shapes of the rocks at Cape Schanck, he chose not to include any hints of human presence, although this remote part of the Victorian coast was already a tourist attraction for Melburnians in the 1860s.




Media category


Materials used

oil on paperboard on hardboard


31.0 x 46.3 cm board; 29.2 x 44.8 cm sight edge; 52.5 x 68.5 x 7.0cm frame

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Bequest of Mrs Nicholas Chevalier 1919

Accession number


Artist information

Nicholas Chevalier

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 9 publications


Andrew Frost, Conquest of space: science fiction and contemporary art, 'The engine of experience: contemporary art and SF', pg. 5-7, Sydney, 2014, 6, 13 (colour illus.), 43.

Simon Gregg, Nicholas Chevalier: Australian odyssey, Sale, 2011, 192 (colour illus.), 193. 55; related work 117, 'Castle Rock, Cape Schanck', pg. 64 (colour illus.), 225 (colour illus.).

Rodney James (Curator), The artists' retreat: Discovering the Mornington Peninsula 1850s to the present, Victoria, 1999, 14 (colour illus.), 15, 37. 26

Danny Lacy, Coast: the artists' retreat, Cape Schanck to Point Nepean, 2017, 16, 17 (colour illus.), 46.

Anne Ryan, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Colonial eyes', pg. 17-36, Sydney, 2000, 18, 33 (colour illus.), 300.

G.P. Smith (Editor), Age, 'The exhibition of fine arts: second notice', pg. 5, Melbourne, 31 Dec 1862, 5. General review of 'rock work', including 'Elephant Rock' and 'Cape Schanck'.

Charles Summers, Catalogue of the Annual Exhibition of Fine Arts, 'Oil paintings', pg. 2-6, Melbourne, Dec 1862, 3. 23

Olivia Welch, Nicole Welch: Eastern interiors: explorations from Bathurst to Albury, 'Nicole Welch: forward reflections', pg. 4-7, Waterloo, 2015, 7 (colour illus.). Nicholas Chevalier's 'Pulpit Rock, Cape Schanck, Victoria' is referenced in Nicole Welch's 'Apparitions' series.

Simone Wildhaber-Creux, Swiss artists in Australia 1777-1991, 'Nicholas Chevalier', pg. 53-66, Sydney, 1991, 58 (colour illus.), 110. 40