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Australian art

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Milford Sound, New Zealand



Eugene von Guérard

England, Australia, Germany, Austria

17 Nov 1811 - 17 Apr 1901


'Milford Sound' is ranked highly among Eugene von Guérard’s sublime Romantic interpretations of the landscape. The spectacular fiord in New Zealand’s South Island held a strong appeal for the artist. Encompassing the view to the north-west, seen from the head of Milford Sound, the painting also depicts the vessel on which von Guérard had travelled to the fiord, at anchor below Cascade Peak.

Produced in his Melbourne studio, 'Milford Sound' was worked up from numerous earlier drawings made on the spot. The painting is broadly faithful to these sketches, in accordance with an approach grounded in the principles of German Romanticism.

The richly decorated 19th-century frame was made by Isaac Whitehead, the most prominent frame-maker in Melbourne throughout the 1860s and 1870s.

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Other Titles

Milford Sound with Pembroke Peak and Bowen Falls on the west coast of Middle Island, New Zealand

Mitre Peak, Milford Sound. Southern Island, New Zealand

Place where the work was made

Melbourne Victoria Australia



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


99.2 x 176.0 cm stretcher; 137.5 x 213.5 x 14.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., red/brown oil "J: Eugene von Guérard/ 1877.9.".


Purchased 1970

Accession number


Artist information

Eugene von Guérard

Artist profile

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 14 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 67 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 71 (colour illus.). titled 'Milford Sound, New Zealand'

Pat Baskett., The New Zealand herald, 'Duelling artists', Auckland, 13 May 1997. Dream Collectors exhibition publicity

Roger Blackley, Two centuries of New Zealand landscape art, Auckland, 1990, 41, 42 (colour illus.). titled 'Milford Sound with Pembroke Peak and Bowen Falls on the West Coast of Middle Island, New Zealand'

J.A. Blaikie, The magazine of art, 'Art in New Zealand', pg. 32-36, London, 1887, 32 (illus.), 35. titled 'Milford Sound'

Tim Bonyhady, Images in opposition: Australian landscape painting 1801–1890, Melbourne, 1985, 79, 80, 81.

Tim Bonyhady, Eugene von Guérard: nature revealed, 'The tipping point', pg. 36-41, Melbourne, 2011, 41, 262, 264 (colour illus.), 265, 296.

Candice Bruce, Edward Cornstock and Frank McDonald, Eugene von Guérard: A German Romantic in the Antipodes, Martinborough, 1982, 50, 158, 172, 267, 268 (colour illus.), 269, 270. 157; plate no 45; titled 'Milford Sound with Pembroke Peak and Bowen Falls'; dated 1877; Private Collection

Candice Bruce, Eugen von Guérard, Canberra, 1980, 76 (colour illus.), 77 (colour illus., detail), 90, 117 (illus.). titled 'Milford Sound with Pembroke Peak and Bower Falls on the west coast of Middle Island, New Zealand'

Christie's, Australia Pty. Ltd., Sale Catalogue, 06 Mar 1970, 57, 58 (colour illus.). lot no. 95; titled 'Milford Sound, Sound Island, New Zealand'

Michael Dunn, A concise history of New Zealand painting, Auckland, 1991, 4, 19, 20, 21 (colour illus.). plate no. 8; titled 'Milford Sound, New Zealand'

Mary Eagle, A story of Australian painting, 'God in nature: portraying the country', pg. 52-70, Sydney, 1994, 56.

Mary Eagle, The Age, 'The man who preceded the Heidelberg School', pg. 8, Melbourne, 24 Dec 1980, 8. Review of von Guerard exhibition

Rachael Egerton, Wonderland of the world: tourism development in Fiordland, NZ. Thematic study and discussion of the usefulness of themes as a tool in Heritage Management., Melbourne, 1997. General reference

Charles Eldredge, Pacific parallels: artists and the landscape in New Zealand, Washington D.C., 1991, 25, 26, 27, 78 (colour illus.), 164. titled 'Milford Sound with Pembroke Peak and Bowen Falls on the West Coast of the Middle Island, New Zealand'

James Fairfax., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Significant place of Von Guerard', Sydney, 07 Jun 1980. Review of von Guerard exhibition

Simon Gregg, New romantics: darkness and light in Australian art, 'The glacial', pg. 96-129, North Melbourne, 2011, 109, 110 (colour illus.), 111.

Henry Gullett (Editor), The Australasian, 'Fine arts. The Academy of Arts exhibition.', pg. 7, Melbourne, 24 Mar 1877, 7.

Camille Guy, The New Zealand herald, 'Spanning the centuries', pg. 6, Auckland, 27 Mar 1990, 6 (illus.). Review of Two centuries of New Zealand landscape art exhibition.

Gerard Hall-Jones (Editor), Handbook to the Fiordland National Park, 'History'; 'Development'; 'Tourists in the park' and 'Fiordland from the Sea', New Zealand, 1973. General reference

John Hall-Jones, Fiordland explored: an illustrated history, 'Chapter 7: Milford Sound', Wellington, 1976. General reference

David Hansen, Art & Australia, 'Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed', pg. 674-675, Sydney, Winter 2012, 675 (colour illus.).

Deborah Hart (Curator) and Imants Tillers (Artist), Imant Tillers: one world many visions, 'Bringing the periphery centre stage', pg. 33-34, Canberra, 2006, 33 (colour illus.).

Helen Verity Hewitt, Patrick White, painter, manqué: paintings, painters and their influence on his writing, 'Patrick White's choice', pg. 114-119, Carlton, 2002, 117.

Helen Verity Hewitt, Art and Australia (Vol. 36, No. 2), 'Patrick White's Choice', pg. 244-250, Sydney, 1998, 248.

Glenis Israel, Senior artwise: visual arts 11-12, 'Eugène von Guérard', pg. 3-10, Milton, 2000, 4 (illus.), 5, 10. plate no. 1.2

Simon Ives, Artist profile [issue 16], 'Painting restoration', pg. 108-110, Sydney, 2011, 108-109 (colour illus.), 110.

Christopher Johnstone, Landscape paintings of New Zealand, 'Preface to the expanded edition', pg. 7-8, Auckland, 2013, 7, 276, 277 (colour illus.).

Julie King, Art New Zealand, 'Displaying Our Dreams: Te Papa's Dream Collectors', pg. 70-73, Auckland, Winter 1999, 71. Review of Dream Collectors exhibition

Jack Leigh., The New Zealand herald, 'Vista embrace two centuries', Auckland, Feb 1990. Review of Two centuries of New Zealand landscape art exhibition.

Ian Lochhead., The Press, 'Art review: N.Z. landscape art', Christchurch, 14 Apr 1990. Review of Two centuries of New Zealand landscape art exhibition.

John McDonald, Art of Australia. Vol 1: Exploration to Federation, 'The mania and force of the stream', pg. 149-224, Sydney, 2008, 202-203 (colour illus.).

Patricia McDonald, Sydney International Exhibition 1879: An exhibition celebrating the centenary of the Sydney International Exhibition, 'Art at the Garden Palace', pg. 25-29, Sydney, 1979, 41. titled 'Milford Sound, New Zealand'

A.H. McLintock (Editor), An encyclopaedia of New Zealand, Wellington, 1966, 48A, 555, 574, 575. General reference of region

C.F. Nicholls (Editor), Victorian men of the time, Melbourne, 1877, 75.

Offices of the Royal Commission (Editor), Paris Universal Exposition of 1878: Catalogue of the British Colonies, 'Victoria', pg. 109-134, London, 1878, 108. 1

Ruth Pullin, Turner to Monet: the triumph of landscape painting, 'Eugene von Guérard', pg. 164, Canberra, 2008, 164, 165 (colour illus.). 58

Ruth Pullin, The journal of New Zealand art history, 'Eugéne von Guérard and the Geognostic Landscape of New Zealand', pg. 1-16, Dunedin, 2009, 10,11 (colour illus.), 12, 14.

Ruth Pullin, The artist as traveller: the sketchbooks of Eugene von Guerard, Ballarat, 2018, 164, 167 (colour illus.), 305 index. fig. 5.21

Anne Ryan, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Colonial eyes', pg. 17-36, Sydney, 2000, 18, 32 (colour illus.), 300.

Paul Ryan, Look, 'The art that made me - Paul Ryan on Eugene von Guerard, Del Kathryn Barton, Daniel Boyd and Peter Booth', pg 29-31, Sydney, May 2019-Jun 2019, 30 (colour illus.).

Peter Shaw, Metro, 'Lively arts: back to the land', pg. 156-157, Auckland, Feb 1990, 157. Review of Two centuries of New Zealand landscape art exhibition.

Werner Sommer, Orient & Occident: travelling 19th century Austrian painters, 'In "Terra Australis": Austrian Artists in Australia', pg. 235-241, Vienna, Jun 2012, 239, 240 (colour illus.). 6

Keith Stewart, Listener & Tv Times, 'Sweeping panorama', pg. 102-105, Auckland, 02 Apr 1990, 105. Review of Two centuries of New Zealand landscape art exhibition.

Mark Stocker, The Burlington Magazine, 'Exhibition reviews: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch New Zealand Art', pg. 441-442, London, Jun 1990, 441.

Te Papa - Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Friends Newsletter (issue 26), 'Dream Collectors: 100 years of art in New Zealand', Wellington, Feb 1998. Review of Dream Collectors exhibition

Daniel Thomas AM, Australian art in the 1870s, 'Introduction', pg.4-6, Sydney, 1976, 18. 34; titled 'Milford Sound with Pembroke Peak and Bowen Falls on the West Coast of Middle Island, New Zealand'

Nicholas Thomas, Possessions: indigenous art / colonial culture, 'Landscapes', pg. 50-93, London, 1999, 81 (illus.), 294. 38

Marjorie Tipping, Eugen von Guérard's Australian Landscapes, Melbourne, 1975, 32.

Victorian Academy of Arts, The seventh exhibition of the Victorian Academy of Arts, Melbourne, 1877, 6. 42; titled 'Milford Sound, with Pembroke Peak and Bowen Falls'

Ian Wedde., Dream Collectors: One hundred years of art in New Zealand, 'Collecting Dreams', Wellington, 1998, 17, 32, 33 (colour illus.).

Patrick White, Patrick White's Choice, Sydney, Dec 1981. 1; titled 'Milford Sound with Pembroke Peak and Bower Falls on the west coast of Middle Island, New Zealand'

A.L. Windsor (Editor), Age, 'A holiday excursion to New Zealand', Melbourne, 23 Jan 1875. General reference

Sydney International Exhibition: Official catalogue of exhibits, Sydney, 1879, 467. 306; titled 'Milford Sound, with Pembroke Peak and Bowen Falls'. Awarded a First Degree of Merit Special for Landscape Painting.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Argus, 'Sydney Exhibition awards (by electric telegraph)’, pg. 5, Melbourne, 19 Apr 1880, 5.

Author Unknown, New Zealand Mail, 06 Dec 1879.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Australasian Sketcher: with Pen and Pencil, 'Facts & scraps', pg. 171-174, Melbourne, 20 Jan 1877, 174. Article quotes passage from The Argus, January 2nd 1887, pg. 4.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Bendigo Advertiser, 'Melbourne', pg. 2, Bendigo, 19 Mar 1877, 2.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Argus, 'The Academy of Arts exhibition', pg. 8, Melbourne, 17 Mar 1877, 8.

Argus, Melbourne, 18 May 1878, 4.

Otago daily times, 'The Otago's trip to Milford Sound', Dunedin, 28 Jan 1876.

Editor Unknown, Colonial and Indian exhibition, London, 1886: catalogue of New Zealand exhibits., London, 1886, 3. titled 'Milford Sound'; Collection F.G. Dalgety, Esq; Section New Zealand Group, Works of Art, Class 1.

Evening post, 'A collection of visions', Wellington, 10 Feb 1998, 12. Review of Dream Collectors exhibition

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Argus, 'The pictures which have gained awards', pg. 7, Melbourne, 16 Mar 1881, 7. Fourth Order of Merit - E. von Guerard, "Milford Sound".

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Argus, 'The November Magazines. No. II.', pg. 7, Melbourne, 03 Jan 1887, 7. Review of J.A. Blaikie's article 'Art in New Zealand' in The Magazine of Art 1887.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Argus, 'Melbourne International Exhibition awards', pg. 6, Melbourne, 04 May 1881, 6. II. - E. von Guerard - Milford Sound, N.Z.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 'The Exhibition', pg. 7, Sydney, 11 May 1880, 7. Victoria: Von E. Guerard, "Milford Sound, New Zealand"- extra first.

Editor Unknown, Melbourne International Exhibition 1880: The official catalogue of the exhibits with introductory notices of the countries exhibiting., Melbourne, 1880. 85; titled 'Milford Sound, New Zealand'; Section Class 1 - oil paintings. Awarded Second Order of Merit.