Eugene von Guérard
'North-east view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko' 1863
Purchased 1973

Eugene von Guérard's North-east view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko celebrates the awe-inspiring aspects of the Australian landscape. Von Guérard visited the Mount Kosciuszko region in 1862 with a party led by the German scientist George Neumayer, who was studying terrestrial magnetism and conducting a survey of Victoria. Von Guérard later painted this work in his Melbourne studio from sketches made on the journey.

Von Guérard depicted the view from Mount Townsend, the second highest point in Australia, looking towards Mount Jagungal, which is the large snow-capped peak visible on the horizon. He combined topographical accuracy with a heightened sense of wonderment at the grandeur of the landscape and the power of natural forces. In the foreground he introduced a large mound of boulders underneath which Neumayer and his assistant are shown taking barometric readings to determine the height of the mountain. Von Guérard introduced these boulders into the painting to increase the drama of the scene and to emphasise the physical insignificance of the men in the mountain landscape. In the distant sky he captured the approaching storm, which later overtook the party on the mountain.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008

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Australian Art

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The National Gallery of Australia's collection of Australian art reflects its unique national responsibility to present the story of visual art in Australia.

The collection includes works of consistently high quality and outstanding aesthetic merit…


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The National Gallery of Australia's collection of Australian art reflects its unique national responsibility to present the story of visual art in Australia.

The collection includes works of consistently high quality and outstanding aesthetic merit -- works by artists from all Australian states and territories and by Australian artists working overseas, as well as works by artists living for a time in Australia. The wide-ranging collection of the work of Indigenous artists from all regions and urban areas of Australia is covered under Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

The Gallery's permanent displays of Australian art are presented in an integrated and broadly chronological arrangement of works from the earliest colonial period to the present day: paintings and sculptures, works on paper, photographs and other photomedia, decorative arts and design. Because of New Zealand's geographical and historical proximity to Australia, works by New Zealand artists are collected selectively and often displayed alongside Australian works.

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