De Gruchy, Henry (1828-82; Australian), & Leigh, Stephen (details unknown), after Strafford, George (c.1820-96; English/Australian)
Melbourne, 1856
Engraving on buff paper, 28 x 41.7 cm (sheet)
Donated by De Gruchy & Leigh, by 1861
State Library of Victoria (H5251)

Described in NGV 1905 as a representation of Melbourne from the Domain, this early view shows the city in the distance, beyond the Yarra, spanned by the first Princes Bridge (erected in 1850). A flock of sheep grazes in the foreground, near one of Strafford’s characteristically spindly trees.

The contrast between this rustic image and the sense of teeming urban life in De Gruchy & Leigh Panoramic View of Melbourne, Victoria 1863 {by 1894} SLV [PR], is remarkable, given that only 7 years separated the two views.

See linked entries on De Gruchy and Strafford for further details on the artists involved.


MPL catalogue 1861, p.lix (under Donations to the Museum of Art: as donated by De Gruchy & Leigh); NGV 1865, p.41 (Engravings, no.11: “Melbourne in 1856” [artist/s not noted]); NGV 1894, p.117 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 3rd bay, no.64); NGV 1905, p.133 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 3rd bay, no.49) 

See SLV catalogue entry for details and reproduction as shown here