On most of his trips within Victoria, Eugene von Guérard combined visits to homesteads with exploration of less settled regions. By so doing, he was able to obtain commissions to paint ‘homestead portraits’ from the squatters. Von Guérard’s earliest homestead pictures are of Purrumbete, a cattle station situated on Lake Purrumbete, ten kilometres east of Camperdown in the Western District of Victoria. Whereas Purrumbete from across the lake is a typical colonial homestead portrait in composition — presenting a straightforward view of the house — From the verandah of Purrumbete is exceptional for its compositional inventiveness.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Anne Gray (ed), Australian art in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2002