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Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
(c. 1876-1880s)

albumen silver photograph, colour dyes
29.0 × 22.1 cm (image and sheet)
Accession Number
Australian Photography
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1984
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

Nicholas Caire was one of Australia’s best known nineteenth-century photographers. In 1878, Caire moved to Melbourne, setting up his photographic operations in Bourke Street, and quickly became one of the city’s leading commercial photographers.

Caire specialised in producing views of picturesque scenery selling the resulting prints in albums or portfolios such as ‘Views of Victoria’. He also took advantage of the craze for postcards at the end of the century and published thousands of his photographs in this format.

This photograph depicts Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens in the late 1800s. The gardens were established in 1846 by Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe beside the Yarra River. Over the next 60 years this swampy site was transformed into the world-famous gardens we know today.