Important Australian + International Fine Art
24 April 2013


(1811 - 1901)

oil on canvas on board
17.0 x 23.5 cm

oil on canvas on wood panel
17.0 x 23.5 cm

(i) signed indistinctly lower left: ... Guerard
inscribed verso: Part of the Police paddock in the year 1854-5 / where presently the Melbourne Cricket Ground exists
bears inscription on old round sticker verso: L / 108 bears inscription verso: Looking east towards the Dandenongs
(ii) inscribed lower right: Melbourne
bears inscription verso: Police Paddock / Melb S.W. / between / 1862 & 1880

$150,000 - 250,000 (2)
Sold for $216,000 (inc. BP) in Auction 29 - 24 April 2013, Melbourne

Sir Bruce Ingram, United Kingdom
The Estate of The Lady Casey, Melbourne


Bruce, C., Comstock, E. and McDonald, F., Eugene von Guérard, 1811–1901: a German Romantic in the Antipodes, Alister Taylor, Martinborough, 1982, p. 254, cat. 104 and 105, as '[View from the artist's house, looking East, c1865]', and '[View from the artist's house, looking South-west, c1865]'

Catalogue text

While Eugene von Guerard's search for gold on the Ballarat fields met with little success, his sketchbooks bulged with treasures waiting to be turned into paintings. Moving to Melbourne in April 1854, in that year alone he completed such memorable paintings as Warrenheip Hills near Ballarat, 1854 (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne), Barter,1854 (Geelong Art Gallery, Victoria), and 'I have got it', 1854 (State Library of Victoria, Melbourne). In July he married Louise Arnz. He and his bride moved to rooms in Collins Street before finally settling into their house in East Melbourne eight years later. In 1855 he returned to his European practice of sketching tours, travelling throughout Victoria and interstate. These sketchbooks bear witness to his insatiable curiosity and encyclopedic interests. He was also busy in and about Melbourne, sketching the stringybarks in Toorak, scenes at St Kilda, and Collingwood. Two preliminary drawings for our paintings are in this same sketchbook for the period of April 1854 to November 1857. One is dated October 1855.

The Government's Police Paddock was close by, within walking distance of von Guerard's home. Located in what is now part of East Melbourne and Richmond, it had been used for the agistment of the colonial troopers' horses, the police depot of the City Mounted Patrol being within the Paddock at the corner of Punt Road and Wellington Parade South. In 1853 the Melbourne Cricket Ground also relocated to part of the area. It still stands there today. Another part of the government parkland extending to the Yarra River was set aside as a public recreation area, soon becoming a busy promenade for early Melbournians. Von Guerard's two oil paintings give atmospheric views of the Police Paddock and its stately gums. In one, their shadows cast across the foreground link the viewers with the scene and invite them to join the company of the two figures walking into the distance. In the other painting, kangaroos have been introduced to give a distinctly antipodean touch to these fields of arcadian beauty, bathed in the enveloping peace of twilight as birds wing their way homeward. Von Guerard followed his sketches exactly, except for the addition of the figures and kangaroos, for which he could draw on other sources. Elsewhere in the same sketchbook several pages are devoted to studies of kangaroos, one being inscribed with the date '15 Nov.1854'. He recorded the gums in their sinuous beauty, and the local landscape with all the topographical accuracy for which he is rightly admired.