Born Vienna, Austria 1811, arrived Australia 1852, died England 1901
Son to a successful Austrian court painter, Eugene von Guérard possessed a sound knowledge of European art history and painting techniques. Travelling to Rome in 1826, he studied master works, and in Germany trained at the Düsseldorf Academy (1840–45), before he arrived in Australia in 1852 to join the Victorian goldrush.
A landscape artist, von Guérard engaged with the countryside through extensive travel. In December 1859 he visited Wollongong, New South Wales, where he most probably made sketches for On the Americkan Creek near Woolongong (sic) (c.1861). He preferred the more unusual aspects of Australia’s nature, such as the tall cabbage trees found in that area. Eugene von Guérard was an exponent of the nineteenth century European alpine artists and the German romantics, and as such his paintings are characterised by grand visions of nature, wide vistas and meticulous attention to detail.
Between 1852 and 1885 while in Australia, Eugene von Guérard was amongst the foremost landscape painters in the country, along with W.C. Piguenit, Nicholas Chevalier and Louis Buvelot. He also founded the Victorian Society of Fine Arts (1856), was a council member for the Royal Society of Victoria (1866–67), and in 1870 became the first painting master at the National Gallery School, Melbourne and curator at the National Gallery of Victoria.
His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Ballarat and Geelong regional galleries and the State Libraries of New South Wales and Victoria.