‘Our Australian Switzerland’: Lindt, Humboldt and the Victorian landscape

Catherine De Lorenzo, Deborah Van Der Plaat

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The convergence of natural philosophy, landscape design and photography in the design and representation of the Hermitage, the home and garden of the celebrated Melbourne photographer John William Lindt (1845–1926) (figure 1), reflects the impact of Humboldtian thinking on the Australian arts in the late nineteenth century.2 Lindt built his horne, studio and guest house at Black Spur3 near Healesville in the Yarra Ranges, a little to the northeast of Melbourne. Begun in 1894 after the depression of the early 1890s had forced the closure of Lindt's Melbourne studio, the building and its setting are testinwny, we argue, to the ideas on nature in the writings of Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) whose five-volumed Cosmos (1845–1858) was still being read and discussed in the scientific and artistic circles in Melbourne with which Lindt was associated.4

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-149
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

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