DETAIL : Russell DRYSDALE  'Emus in a landscape' 1950  Painting oil on canvas NGA 1970.106  � Estate of Russell Drysdale
Eugene VON GUERARD | Schnapper Point from 'Beleura'

Austria 1811 – England 1901-04-17
Italy 1830-1838 Germany 1838-1852 Australia 1852-1881, Germany 1882-1891 England from 1891
Schnapper Point from 'Beleura' 1870
oil on canvas
66.1 (h) x 104.2 (w) cm
Framed 91.5 (h) x 128.3 (w) x 8.9 (d) cm
From the James Fairfax collection, gift of Bridgestar Pty Ltd 1995
NGA 1995.353
VIEW: Article |

Eugene von Guérard painted the Australian landscape from the perspective of an observer, an explorer and as a resident. In this view of Schnapper Point, near Mornington Peninsula on Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay (approximately 40 kilometres from the city), von Guérard depicts the beauty of the Australian coast. The work was painted for James Butchart, the owner of the ‘Beleura’ homestead built in 1863. Von Guérard shows the sweeping views from the property across the bay – an area that had become a popular holiday destination for Melbourne residents.

The scene is alive with activity. A couple gather wood in the foreground while a horseman rides through the bush accompanied by his dogs. In the distance, homesteads are dotted along the peninsula and two sailing vessels can be seen on the glistening blue sea. Von Guérard has created an image of the land undergoing settlement and change as people began to seek alternative places to live beyond the city limits.