Collection Online

Melbourne capriccio 3

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
195.2 × 184.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Melbourne, Victoria
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by The Hugh D. T. Williamson Foundation, 2009
© Jan Senbergs/Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

Melbourne capriccio 3 is a part of a series of urban map paintings that trace the distinctive contours of well-known cities and locations, such as the cityscape and surrounding suburbs of Melbourne. Drawing on memory and recognition, the maps present a nostalgic sense of place and familiarity while also confounding our understanding of traditional mapmaking practices. While it is possible to distinguish well-known landmarks such as the Arts Centre, the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Albert Park Lake in this painting, the topography is sufficiently abstracted and imaginary to defy the accuracy required of a cartographic map.

Distortions of scale, and the chaotic tangle of streets and buildings within an urban setting, are typical of Senbergs’s artistic practice. While presenting an intriguing view of the cityscape, his paintings often ominously allude to a sense of dystopia and encroaching urbanism on the landscape.