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A scholarly and original examination of Australian landscape painting, this book examines its formative years--from the arrival of the first professional landscape painter, William Westall, until the emergence of the first school of Australian artists led by Tom Roberts. It is primarily concerned with the "colonial" landscape painters active between 1820 and 1885, such as John Glover, Conrad Martens, Eugene von Guerard, and Louis Buvelot. Landscape painting in Australia in the nineteenth century is important both as an expression of colonists' attitudes to the country they had only recently settled and as a record of changes Europeans wrought on the landscape. Bonyhady discusses the position of artists in nineteenth-century Australian society--their incomes, social status, societies, and exhibitions--and considers how landscape painters concentrated on a range of contrasting aspects of Australian scenery. He defines and explains the sequence of opposing images that were most important in Australian landscape painting between 1820 and 1890, and sets each theme within its cultural context. The most striking consequence of this approach is that the works discussed are shown to possess a degree of cultural unity which belies the early isolation and the later disparate origins of the artists.
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