A man of a thousand occupations! Botanist, geologist, hunter of beetles and butterflies, musical composer, sketcher of no mean pretensions; in short a complete virtuoso.
Charles Joseph LaTrobe (1801 -1875) arrived as Superintendent of the colony of Port Phillip in 1839, and later became Lieutenant Governor when Victoria separated from New South Wales in 1851. LaTrobe witnessed monumental changes effecting the colony, from the depression of the 1840s to the goldrushes of the 1850s.
A European with educated sensibilities – well travelled and with progressive views – he expressed his wonder of nature through art. La Trobe documented his travels by making sketches of the landscape.
Although a non-professional artist his proficiency in instantly capturing the contours of a scene have a modern vitality, whilst his completed watercolours have a Romantic and sublime quality.
On long-term loan to the Pictures Collection, State Library Victoria. More watercolours and sketches may be viewed at State Library Victoria.