Lowry, Joseph Wilson (1803-79; English), after Liardet, W.F.E. (1799-1878; Swiss/Australian)
View of Melbourne Port Phillip 1845
Donated by Charles La Trobe, 1859 (?)
State Library of Victoria (H18113)

The impression listed in NGV 1865 and subsequent early catalogues is presumably identical with the print in the SLV, described as donated by La Trobe, Superintendent of Port Phillip (1839-51) and then Victoria’s first Governor (1851-54).

If the date of 1859 is correct, this may be the earliest acquisition for the Melbourne collection.

The inscription dedicates the image to La Trobe, and gives the publishers as Smith, Elder & Co., 65 Cornhill, London. An accompanying index identifies various buildings and other features, from Mt Macedon in the distance to the left, to Eastern Hill and Collingwood at the right.

The La Trobe Library also holds an extensive collection of Liardet’s watercolours of early Melbourne, apparently acquired later.


NGV 1865, p.41 (Engravings, no.9; artist not named); NGV 1894, p.119 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 3rd bay, no.82); NGV 1905, p.130 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 3rd bay, no.25) 

See SLV catalogue for details and reproduction as shown here; the index plate is H18115; the date of donation is given by the SLV as 1959, evidently a misprint for 1859

For Liardet, see Kerr Dictionary (1992), pp.470-71 (entry by Candice Bruce), updated as  https://www.daao.org.au/bio/wilbraham-rederick-evelyn-liardet/biography/ (last revised 2011); and Pearce Swiss Artists in Australia (1991), pp.25-36 (essay by C.Snowden) and cat.12-25 (the SLV watercolours). For Lowry, see Bénézit 8, p.1292 (brief entry); not included in AKL