Melbye, Vilhelm (1824-82; Danish) [also called William Melby] 
Start Point, off the Coast of Devonshire 1870
Oil on canvas, 91.7 x 153.4 cm
Purchased, 1871
National Gallery of Victoria (p.303.2-1)

The gallery’s 1871 annual report gives the title as “The Storm – Start Point Light”; and NGV 1894 notes that Start Point is “the spot last sighted by vessels outward bound from the [English] Channel.” The 1905 NGV catalogue indicates that the painting was purchased in Melbourne.

The artist, who specialized in seascapes, was born and died in Denmark, but also worked in England and throughout continental Europe.


AR 1871, p.40; NGV 1875, p.46 (as acq.1873); NGV 1894, p.77 (IV.McArthur Gallery, no.20: as Start Point Light…); NGV 1905, p.87 (III.McArthur Gallery, no.16) [£157/10] 

For information on the artist (called Melby in both NGV 1894 and 1905), see Bénézit 9, p.721; AKL 89 (2016), pp.11-12; and (with reproductions of other works). See also “Art Notes,” Sydney Mail, 9 Dec.1876, discussing a picture formerly in the Art Gallery of New South Wales (,4784149)