Guérard, Eugène von (1811-1901; Austrian/ Australian)
Spring in the valley of the Mitta Mitta with the Bogong Ranges 1866
Oil on canvas, 68.3 x 106.7 cm
Presented by Archibald Michie, 1866
National Gallery of Victoria (p.300.14-1)

This work, the earliest of von Guérard’s works acquired for Melbourne, was donated together with Gritten View on Jackson’s Creek 1866 {1866} NGV [PA] (for Michie, see linked entry).

This canvas is a variant of a smaller canvas (now also in the NGV, acquired with the Joseph Brown Collection in 2004), painted in 1863 on the basis of a sketch made during the artist’s Kosciusko expedition with Georg von Neumayer in 1862: see now Guérard Mount Kosciusko 1866 {1870} NGV [PA].

In the pre-Felton NGV, the present canvas was displayed near or directly beside Chevalier The Buffalo Ranges, Victoria 1864 {1864} NGV [PA], enabling visitors to make their own direct comparison between von Guérard’s luminous view of the Victorian landscape and Chevalier’s more obviously Romantic imagery.  Redmond Barry, for one, expressed a clear preference for von Guérard over Chevalier, in remarks he made in 1864 (cited in the entry on the Chevalier painting).


NGV 1875, p.47; NGV 1894, p.77 (IV.McArthur Gallery, no.19); NGV 1905, p.89 (III.McArthur Gallery, no.24) 

For this painting, see also Galbally & others, First Collections (1992), p.56, (with further details and references). This work and Chevalier’s were hung near or beside each other as documented in the 1894 NGV catalogue (pp.77-78: III.McArthur Gallery), as nos.19 and 21, and in NGV 1905 (pp.88-89: IV.McArthur Gallery) as nos.24 and 23 respectively (both catalogues list works in the sequence in which they were displayed)

For further details, and a comparison between von Guérard’s two variants, see the entry by Frances Lindsay in Pullin Nature Revealed (2011), pp.251-52. For the Joseph Brown Collection work, see also