Eugene von Guérard - Milford Sound, New Zealand

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Milford Sound, New Zealand
Eugene von Guérard (Australia / Austria, 1811-1901)
Oil on canvas, 99.2 x 176 cm. (39.1 x 69.3 in.)
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

After the arrival of the first European settlements in Australia in 1788, several young artists from the Old Continent moved to Australia and began to paint the landscapes of their new homeland. These include John Glover, S. T. Gill (both born in England) and Johann Joseph Eugene von Guérard, born in Austria.

Having studied at the Düsseldorf Academy, von Guerard knew the art of the European landscape painters, from Claude Lorrain to Caspar David Friedrich. He moved to Australia in 1852, and after an unsuccessful experience as a gold-digger, von Guerard decided to apply his knowledge to the Australian landscape. His early works include a view of Mount Kosciusko that was one of the first works acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Later, Eugene von Guérard visited New Zealand in search of new landscapes, and "Milford Sound” is the peak of his achievements.

Milford Sound is one of the most Impressive locations in New Zealand, a fjord that runs 15 kilometres inland surrounded by peaks over 1,000 meters high. Von Guérard represents the geology and vegetation of the place with scientific accuracy. The only human presence is a small boat approaching the shore. This representation of the human figure as almost insignificant when compared to nature is reminiscent of the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich.

G. Fernández -

Milford Sound

Milford Sound, New Zealand. Photo by Maros Mraz.

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