Panorama of Melbourne
As a landscape artist, Eugene Von Guérard favoured panoramic views, and he would occasionally join two pieces of paper together to enable him to draw a landscape in sufficient breadth. However, there is nothing else in his work like this extended panorama of Melbourne, drawn on five joined sheets of paper.
Drawn from an elevated location close to the present site of Government House, it sweeps from a distant view of Geelong at the left, across the bay and Williamstown, past the ships at dock in the Yarra and the centre of the city, to Richmond, East Melbourne, the Botanic Gardens, and ending in the direction of St Kilda.
The individual sheets were drawn on separate days, as much as a month apart. Von Guérard's extraordinary visual accuracy enabled him to return to his viewpoint after days or weeks and seamlessly continue from wherever he had left off.
The drawing was purchased by the Library from a London dealer in 1903. It probably belonged originally to John Bakewell, an early Victorian pioneer who commissioned many drawings from Von Guérard, and who took these drawings with him when he returned to England in 1858.