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Treasures & curios

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Page from 'Hypnerotomachia poliphili' Photo of a group of gold rush-era diggers Double-spread from 'Fables choisies' Photo from Edna Walling's manuscript Double page spread of 'Diary of a Welsh swagman' The top section of the Bendigo goldfields petition Double-spread of 'De musica' by Boethius Detail from 'Cyclorama of Melbourne' Image of 'Black Thursday' Detail from 'Birds of America' Detail from 'Panorama of Melbourne', 1855 Cover of 'The hut that Jack built' 'Princes Bridge', by Clarice Beckett, c1923 Peter Lalor's pistol Title page of Darwin's 'Origin of species' Cover page of Newton's 'Principia' The full armour Ned Kelly wore Double-spread of 'Myrrour of the worlde' Front view of the press dress Page of handwritten text from Charles Evans' diary Cover of Lady Loch's photo album

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Panorama of Melbourne

Pictures, Australian history
Date: 1855
Author: Eugene Von Guérard

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.

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