According to the process used by Constable, Turner, Church and all others, von Guerard is working in studio from his sketches. At that time when photography began to bring a new vision to the landscape, von Guerard still interprets the realistic truth through a rigorous geometric construction attesting to the direct or indirect influence of Humboldt.
Australian patrons are interested. The view of a tree nursery over Melbourne realized in 1855 for its owner was probably his first Australian order. This oil on canvas was discussed in this column when Bonhams offered it at auction in 2013.
Von Guerard also takes great care to express the warm and pleasant colors of the Australian ground : jade, turquoise, amber. A view of Geelong near Melbourne, oil on canvas 155 x 89 cm painted in 1856, was sold for A$ 2M including premium by Christie's on April 29, 1996.
Painted in the same year with the same technique, a View of Hobart Town with Mount Wellington in the background, 61 x 92 cm, is altogether very appealing with its peaceful cove animated by few small boats and historically important because it shows the development of the city in the very year when it was declared as the capital of the newly created Tasmania. Hobart Town will become simply Hobart in 1881.
This painting was sold for A$ 1,47M including premium by Menzies in Sydney on September 24, 2014. It is again offered in the same auction room on June 23, lot 38 estimated A$ 1.25M.
SOLD for A$ 1.53M including premium
Please watch the video shared by the auction house: