Jackson’s Creek, Sunbury

Henry C. Gritten, 1818-1873ca. 1867

State Library Victoria

State Library Victoria

This work shows a rural scene with a dirt road bordering a creek, trees, cattle and fence rails against a backdrop of a rocky outcrop.

The 'Victorian Gazetteer' for 1864 describes Sunbury's scenery, particularly near the creek, as very romantic and picturesque, greatly admired by tourists and much appreciated for picnics and pleasure excursions. After construction of the train line between Melbourne and Bendigo in 1859–62, Sunbury became a favourite excursion for Melbourne's growing population.

Its landscape also became accessible for Gritten, who suffered from poor health throughout his life and chose to paint urban views or the semi-rural fringes of colonial towns. At Sunbury, Gritten found a landscape whose qualities were entirely suited to his picturesque style.

The Sunbury area was settled very soon after the first colonists reached Melbourne. Brothers William and Samuel Jackson occupied small farm holdings in the area from July 1836, and named the place Sunbury after the English town in the Thames valley.

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  • Title: Jackson’s Creek, Sunbury
  • Creator: Henry C. Gritten, 1818-1873
  • Date: ca. 1867
  • Location: Jackson Creek, Sunbury, Victoria
  • Provenance: Gift of Mrs. Barbara Tucker, 2004.
  • Rights: This work is out of copyright. No copyright restrictions apply.
  • lithograph: Painting
  • View more information about this image in the State Library Victoria catalogue: http://search.slv.vic.gov.au/MAIN:SLV_VOYAGER1791655
  • View a full-size version of this image: http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/271891
  • Physical dimensions: 60 x 90 cm. (sight), in frame and mount 86 x 116 cm.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • A.E. Ferris: Henry Gritten exhibited works at the Royal Academy in London between 1835 and 1849. Like many others, he was attracted to Victoria by the discovery of gold and arrived in 1853. He subsequently travelled to Tasmania, where he produced a series of similar scenes of Hobart. Gritten often repeated his most popular works, with only minor variations, and he also worked up paintings based on other people's sketches. Gritten was a founding member of the Victorian Academy of Arts, showing a painting of Brighton Beach and a view of Melbourne from the Botanical Gardens at its inaugural exhibition in 1870.


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