Nature revealed at the National Gallery of Australia

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For the first time in over 3 decades, an exhibition dedicated to one of the preeminent landscape artists in Australian history has opened at the National Gallery of Australia. Eugene Von Guerard: Nature Revealed is part of the National Gallery of Victoria touring exhibition and runs from 27 April – 15 July at The National Gallery of Australia Canberra.

One of the exciting aspects of this exhibition is that some of the works on display were unearthed during research for the exhibition and have never been on show to the public, some of the paintings and lithographs are from private collections in Europe and Australia.

Director of the National Gallery of Australia Ron Radford AM said, “Von Guerard meticulous works are remarkable in their detail and are greatly valued for their depiction of Australia, particularly, Victorian landscapes. We’re delighted to show this wonderful exhibition by one of Australia’s most celebrated artists.

Von Guerard was born in Vienna and studied landscape painting at Dusseldorf academy; maybe he was inspired by his father who was the resident artist at the court of Emperor Francis of Austria. Whatever his inspiration was, he became famed for his meticulous paintings of the natural world.

Lured by the promise of untold riches on the Victorian gold fields, Von Guerard emigrated to Australia in 1852. His attempts to strike it lucky were fruitless, but what he did realise was the opportunities Australia had to offer him as an artist, so he laid down his spade, picked up his brush and began on a profitable career taking commissions from rich landowners, recording their properties on canvas.

Von Guerard
National Gallery of Australia

He soon became famed for his landscape art and in 1870 was appointed 1st master of the school of painting at The National Gallery of Victoria. Von Guerard’s end is a sad one, on retiring he moved back to Europe, his wife died in 1891 and two years later he lost all his investments in the Australian Bank crash, he lived out his days in poverty until his death in Chelsea, London, in 1901.

Eugene Von Guerard: Nature revealed is open 10am-5pm daily at the National Gallery of Australia, another exciting aspect of this exhibition is, entry is free.

Fiona Hammond is a journalist who graduated from the John Morris journalism academy. Fiona lives on the south coast of NSW Australia and writes human interest stories and opinions, about gardening, sustainability, fishing, the environment and our planet.