O’Brien, George (1821-88; Irish/New Zealander)
Corner of Collins Street and Swanston Street 1853
Watercolour, gouache and pencil on paper on canvas, 45.4 x 74.8 (image and sheet)
Bequest of Alfred Felton, 1904
National Gallery of Victoria (158-2)

Unfortunately, this large watercolour is in rather poor condition. However, the architectural details are still fairly clear, and there is also an old photo of the work in the SLV that helps with identification. The former Argus office is identified in the group of buildings to the left, and the original church of St Paul’s appears in the distance to the right.

For other views of early Melbourne by O’Brien, see linked artist entry.


NGV 1905, p.134 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 3rd bay, no.51) 

Not reproduced in the NGV catalogue; author’s ID photo reproduced here (Oct.2019)

For the black and white photograph, see SLV catalogue (H92.334/1), noting that an engraving of this view also appeared in the Illustrated London News, 29 Oct.1853, p.372