North east view from the top of Mount Kosciusko, New South Wales
Eugene von Guérard
England, Australia, Germany, Austria
17 Nov 1811 - 17 Apr 1901
Eugene (Eugen) von Guérard was born in Vienna, the son of a successful miniature painter. Eugene travelled to Italy with his father at the age of fifteen and received training in Rome. In 1836, after his father's death, he went to Düsseldorf, where he studied at the academy, and with a lithographic firm where Heinrich Arnz, the father of von Guérard's future wife Louise, was a partner. He stayed there until 1852, when he emigrated to Victoria in August of that year.
Von Guérard began exhibiting in Australia in 1854. In October 1862, he accompanied Professor von Neumayer on a survey of north-west Victoria and Mount Kosciuszko, NSW; the figures in this print include both men, as well as two guides and a servant, as they were at the scene on 19 November 1862 (as dated in the published version). Sketchbook drawings of the mountain (in the State Library of NSW) led to a large oil painting 'View from Mount Kosciusko' (1863), now in the National Gallery of Australia. In 1867-68, Hamel and Ferguson published von Guérard's 'Australian Landscapes' in Melbourne, although they do appear to have issued individual copies of the prints as early as 1866 (but probably not the full series), when a number were awarded first prize at the 1866 Intercolonial Exhibition, Melbourne. Contemporary reviews suggest that this print from the summit of Mount Kosciuszko was from a second series of von Guérard's views, after his 1863 painting. Copies of the book were also produced with tinted or black and white illustrations. Von Guérard supervized the transferring of the drawings to stone for printing, and the colouring of the prints. A copy, coloured by von Guérard as a guide for the publisher's colourists, is now in the collection of the National Library of Australia. Although there was favourable critical reception to the prints, von Guérard was not happy with the results. He wrote to William Strutt in 1872:
"I am very sorry that you have seen that series of views published in Melbourne, because after all my trouble and time which I spent on that work it was so totally spoiled in printing as it could be. You know that with only three colours it was infinitely difficult to get a harmonious effect. I had to do every thing and when I left it in the hands of the printers, I was almost certain that after a few proves they would make a mess of it. To the present moment I have not yet got my full payment for the work". (C Bruce et al., 'Eugen von Guerard', pg. 178).
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints from the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, 1998
colour lithograph, printed on white wove paper
31.4 x 49.5 cm image; 34.5 x 52.2 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed on stone to print l.l., "Eug. v. Guérard". Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Purchases and Acquisitions for 1958, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 11 Feb 1959–08 Mar 1959
Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Dec 1979–28 Jan 1980
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection (1998-1999), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 1998–07 Feb 1999
Referenced in 6 publications
Tim Bonyhady, Eugene von Guérard: nature revealed, 'The tipping point', pg. 36-41, Melbourne, 2011, 36-39, 41, 244-245 (colour illus., detail), 246 (caption), 247-248, 250, 251, 256, 257 (colour illus.), 293. All references pertain specifically to the painting 'North-east view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko' 1863 (NGA Collection), but are also relevant to the subject of this print.
Imant Tillers: one world many visions, Chapter 1: Bringing The Periphery Centre Stage. Article on Mount Analogue 1985, pp 29-30, Canberra, 2006, 29 (colour illust.).
What's lost/what's won - Conviction and contradiction in the art of Frederick McCubbin, Toowoomba, 1999, 15-16.
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 23 (colour illus.). cat.no. 6
Art & the West, Sydney, 1987, illus..
Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1979, 10.