Strutt, William (1825-1915; English/Australian)
Study for the Opening of the First Victorian Parliament, Melbourne, 1856 (1863)
Pencil and wash on paper, 30.7 x 41.6 cm
Presented by John Pascoe Fawkner, 1868
State Library of Victoria (H329) [accessioned by SLV 1929]

This drawing contains numerous portraits of the dignitaries assembled at this event, held at the Exhibition Buildings in 1856.

Strutt’s oil sketch of the interior – viewed from the same position, but without figures – was acquired by the SLV in 1991. Another related sketch by Strutt (1856) is held in the Victorian Parliamentary Library. However the artist, who returned to England in 1862 after 12 years in Australia, does not appear to have produced a major painting on the basis of these various studies.

For Fawkner’s patronage of Strutt, see linked entry on the donor.


NGV 1894, p.114 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 3rd bay, no.41); NGV 1905, p.134 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 3rd bay, no.54) 

See Galbally & others, The First Collections (1992),, p.60. The oil sketch mentioned is SLV H81.282/3; for the sketch in the Parliamentary Library, see