Artist Trail

Artist Trail

The Heidelberg School Artists Trail


How To Get There

Melway Reference
Map 32 C6


Hurstbridge Line-Heidelberg Station (direct route)
or Eaglemont Station (scenic route)

Parking Available

Yarra Flats Park, Banksia Park, Heidelberg Park, Warringal Park, Eaglemont Tennis Club, Plymouth Street or Somerset Drive.

For more information contact

Banyule City Council on 9490 4222
Parks Victoria 13 19 63

The Heidelberg School Artists Trail

The Heidelberg School was the first significant art movement in Australia. The name originated in July 1891, when art critic Sidney Dickinson wrote a review of the exhibitions of works by Walter Withers and Arthur Streeton. Dickinson noted that these artists whose works were mostly painted in the Heidelberg area could be considered as 'The Heidelberg School'. Since that time The Heidelberg School has taken on a wider meaning and covers Australian artists of the late nineteenth Century who followed plein-air painting at one of the many artist camp sites. In the late 1880's and 1890's, Heidelberg and Eaglemont were sites of great significance, and this historic art trail recognizes twelve of the works painted in this vicinity.

The trail comprises a series of 12 colour signs featuring paintings from six artists of The Heidelberg School. The signs have been erected along the Yarra River and allow visitors to experience how artists of the era interpreted the landscape.

The Heidelberg School Artists Trail was officially launched on 11th April 1997 by the Hon. Marie Tehan MP, Minister for Conservation and Land Management and Don McLean, Mayor, Banyule City Council. This trail is the result of a joint project between Banyule City Council, Manningham City Council, Parks Victoria, Heidelberg Rotary and the Plenty Yarra Community Tourism Association (PYCTA).

Arthur Streeton, the fourth of seven children, was born at Duneed, near Geelong, Victoria on the 8 April 1867. Many of his most significant works were painted in the Heidelberg and Eaglemont area in 1889 and 1890 at the time when he was living in the old cottage on the Mount Eagle Estate. The cottage was situated in Summit Drive, Eaglemont. It was at this cottage that Streeton and his fellow artists planned the 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition held on August 17, 1889. In 1937, Streeton was knighted for his services to art. He died in his home Longacres in Olinda on 1 September 1943 and is buried in Ferntree Gully Cemetery.
Walter Withers, painter, illustrator and teacher and one of fourteen children was born on 22 October 1854 at Aston Manor, Warwickshire, England. He arrived in Melbourne on 1 January 1883 and in the summer of 1889-90, shared with Roberts and Streeton the old cottage on the Mount Eagle Estate. In 1890, he rented Charterisville in East Ivanhoe and in 1894 moved to Cape Street, Heidelberg. In 1898 he moved from Cape Street to Withers Court, Darebin Street, Heidelberg and in 1903 to Southemwood on the comer of Brougham and Bolton Streets, Eltham. He died in Eltham on 13 October 1914 and is buried in the nearby churchyard at St Helena.
om Roberts, painter and photographer, was born on 8 March 1856 at Dorchester, Dorset, England. He arrived in Geelong on 22 June 1869, and settled in Collingwood. In his early years he was encouraged to paint plein-air by Louis Buvelot and his interest in plein-air painting was further stimulated after a study tour of Europe between 1881 - 1885. On his return he encouraged others to follow in Buvelot's footsteps, painting along the Yarra in Heidelberg and from Eaglemont hillside. In 1889, Roberts exhibited 62 works in the 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition. Roberts died at Kallista on 14 September 1931 and his ashes are buried in the Illawarra churchyard, near Longford, Tasmania.

Emanual Phillips Fox, painter and teacher, was born on 12 March 1865 in Fitzroy, Victoria. In February 1887 he departed for Paris where he studied and visited many of the major European plein-air painting camps. In 1891, he returned to Melbourne and with Tudor St. George Tucker opened the Melbourne Art School. When Withers vacated Charterisville, Fox and Tucker took over the rental and opened a summer school 'based on the French system'. During this time at Charterisville, Fox produced a number of works depicting the Yarra fiats below the house. Fox died in Melbourne on 8 October 1915.

Louis Buvelot, painter, photographer and teacher was born on the 3 March at Morgues, Vuad, Switzerland and arrived in Melbourne in February 1865. Buvelot encouraged the young Heidelberg School artists to paint plein-air in the vicinity of Heidelberg, Eaglemont and Templestowe. In recognition of the significance of his teaching on the Heidelberg School artists, one of his works 'Winter Morning near Heidelberg', 1866 has been included on this trail. Buvelot died in 1888 and is buried in Kew Cemetery.

Charles Conder, or K as he was known to his friends, was born on 24 October 1868 in London. He arrived in Sydney on 13 June 1884, and met with Tom Roberts in Sydney in March 1888. Roberts encouraged Conder to visit Melbourne and in the spring of 1888, Conder painted with Roberts at the Box Hill camp. Conder spent the summer of 1888-89 at Eaglemont as well as most of the following summer. He also took part in the 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition of 1889. Conder returned to Europe in April 1890, and died at Virginia Water, near Windsor, England on 9 April 1909.