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View from Dunlop Range, near Louth, Darling River (looking south), from the album New South Wales Royal Commission: Conservation of water. Views of scenery on the Darling and Lower Murray during the flood of 1886.



Charles Bayliss

England, Australia

1850 – 1897

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    albumen photograph
    21.0 x 28.6 cm image/sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1984
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Charles Bayliss

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Photographers were routinely employed on scientific expeditions during the 19th century. An album of 40 photographs was presented with the 1886 report of the Lyne Royal Commission, but it is known that Bayliss took hundreds of others during the journey.1 Some of Bayliss’s photographs, such as this one, do not appear to serve the immediate purpose of the report. This image of the vastness and emptiness of Australia is related to the problem of water conservation only indirectly. The photograph seems more concerned with articulating a mythology of the bush, a common interest of Australian writers, painters and poets in the last quarter of the 19th century. It probably has direct literary roots and may have been staged to illustrate an outback story of a traveller lost in the bush: ‘Far and wide stretched a stricken land. The glare of a hard and pitiless sky overhead, the infinite vista of salt-bush, brigalow, stay-a-while, and mulga, the creeks only stretches of stone, and no shelter from the shadeless gums – these only meeting his eye.’2

    1. Copies of the album are held by the Department of Water Resources and the Mitchell Library of the State Library of New South Wales
    2. 1884 report in Jeffcoat K & Byron S 1991, 'Down the Darling: the Charles Bayliss photographs', Department of Water Resources New South Wales, Parramatta p 30

    © Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 5 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 9 publications

Other works by Charles Bayliss

See all 83 works