Eugene von Guerard major work an auction showcase

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 18th September, 2014

Menzies forthcoming Sydney auction will showcase a major Eugene von Guerard work entitled View of Hobart Town with Mount Wellington in the Background and painted in 1856.

This is 52 years after Hobart was founded and the painting, currently residing in a private Sydney collection, is a precisely detailed panoramic view of Tasmania’s State capital.

Carrying an auction estimate of $1.2-$1.8 million, it also is a wonderful example of Australia’s 19th century cultural history as seen through the eyes of a European artist able to project the country’s art and imagery beyond the fairly staid colonial visuals of the time.

Menzies will hold its auction over two days from 6.30pm Tuesday September 23 and 2pm the next day at Menzies Gallery 12 Todman Avenue, Kensington in Sydney.

There is a range of Australian colonial, impressionist, modern and contemporary artists represented and the auction features many works sure to be keenly sought by buyers.

A prime example is Arthur Streeton’s The Guidecca Lagoon, Venice c1938, a city that the artist described as a “great place for painting”.

Streeton produced more than 85 Venetian paintings, ranging from preparatory pencil and wash studies to oil sketches to completed paintings boldly modelled and imposing in their scale and form.

This work is one of the “La Salute” paintings that Streeton produced in later years and can be traced to a painting he first produced in Venice in 1908.

Brett Whiteley is represented through The Shower 1984 and Nude in Bath 1986 showing his preoccupation with the nude form taking a shower or bath.

Jeffrey Smart is another iconic artist in the mix with his Richmond Park II 1997-99, while John Brack’s Nude with Frame 1980 shows the artist’s deliberate use of a restricted palette of muted non-distracting colours to explore adjoining shapes and harmony of forms.

Sidney Nolan fans will be delighted to see his Kelly in the Landscape 1964, iconic images the artist had already made famous through his Ned Kelly series from 1945 to 1947, and Fred Williams’ Landscape Sherbrooke Forest 1961-62 and Robert Klippel’s Opus 800 1989 will be other major drawcards.

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