National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by Ian Hicks AM and Dorothy Hicks, John Higgins, Bruce Parncutt and Robin Campbell, 2006
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
A geometric framework underpins most of Eugene von Guérard’s works, but nowhere more dramatically than in Tea trees near Cape Schanck, Victoria, where the artist made effective use of the Golden Section and used the diagonal to divide the picture into zones of sunlight and shadow. There are subtexts, too, of growth and senescence, and of the indigenous and the exotic – a fox in the undergrowth eyes off a sea bird wheeling in from the left. The aerial perspective is exceptional, too, and the whole scene is diffused with glorious light. This is one of von Guérard’s most beautiful and fascinating pictures.