The skyline of Melbourne, here looking distinctly Tuscan, hovers on the horizon, beyond a classicizing scene of bucolic bliss.
This is one of several early Melbourne images by Burn, who arrived in Australia in 1853 (see linked artist entry for further details).
AR 1891, p.24; NGV 1894, p.111 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 3rd bay, no.6); NGV 1905, p.136 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 3rd bay, no.68): in each case as by H.Burns (sic) [£4]
The SLV catalogue entry comments on the Melbourne buildings shown. See also SLV, The Art of the Collection, 2007, p.80; and Downer & Phipps Victorian Vision (1985), cat.63 (numbered LT 1010). For a closely comparable watercolour by Burn, held in the University of Melbourne Art collection (acquired in 1973), see http://www.art-museum.unimelb.edu.au/assets/files/general/14Burn.pdf (information sheet by Stephen Mead, 2003)