Louis Buvelot arrived in Australia in 1865 as an accomplished painter with a strong reputation in Europe. Following his studies in Switzerland and Paris in the early 1830s, Buvelot spent eighteen years working under the patronage of the Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro II, who had provided him with a studio and purchased his work.
The years in which the paintings from the Benalla Art Gallery collection were created (1868-1870) correlates to a time in the artist’s life when he had just arrived in Melbourne from Liverpool (UK) with Caroline-Julie Beguin, a teacher from Neuchatel. They bought a photography studio in Bourke Street, and lived in 88 La Trobe Street where Buvelot established a studio.
Buvelot brought with him to Australia the technique of plein air tonal impressionism, and whilst teaching at the Carlton School of Design, had a significant influence on the founders of the Heidelberg School (including Tom Roberts and Frederick McCubbin) and the development of Australian landscape painting. By the late 1860s Buvelot had adapted his European technique to suit the Australian vista, changing his palette and formal manner into a looser style reflective of contemporary aesthetics. He travelled Victoria on painting excursions and particularly enjoyed the landscapes of the Yarra Valley, Heidelberg and Lilydale.
Examples of his paintings are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, all state galleries and many regional galleries.
Main image: Louis Buvelot, The Barwon, 1870
Oil on canvas
37.0 x 55.0 cm
Benalla Art Gallery Collection. Ledger Gift, 1986