Historical information

Nicholas Caire was born on Guernsey in the Channel Islands in 1837. He arrived in Adelaide with his parents in about 1860. In 1867, following photographic journeys in Gippsland, he opened a studio in Adelaide. From 1870 to 1876 he lived and worked in Talbot in Central Victoria. In 1876 he purchased T. F. Chuck's studios in the Royal Arcade Melbourne. In 1885, following the introduction of dry plate photography, he began a series of landscape series, which were commercially successful. As a photographer, he travelled extensively through Victoria, photographing places few of his contemporaries had previously seen. He died in 1918.
Reference: Jack Cato, 'Caire, Nicholas John (1837–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Significance

An original, rare photograph from the series 'Views of Victoria: General Series' by the photographer, Nicholas Caire (1837-1918). The series of 60 photographs that comprise the series was issued c. 1876 and reinforced a neo-Romantic view of the Australian landscape to which a growing nationalist movement would respond. Nicholas Caire was active as a photographer in Australia from 1858 until his death in 1918. His vision of the Australian bush and pioneer life had a counterpart in the works of Henry Lawson and other nationalist poets, authors and painters.

Physical description

Views of Victoria (General Series) No.30 / ‘Scene in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens’ / Albumen silver photograph mounted on board

Inscriptions & markings

On Reverse:
‘The Scene of the present illustration is taken from the Hill on the South Yarra side of the Gardens, shewing in the distance the Government Domain. In the centre of the picture a portion of the Lake may be seen. This Lake is of considerable extent, and being surrounded by hills, the slopes of which contain many beautiful Fern Groves and Vistas of the densest foliage, adds greatly to the beauty and picturesqueness of the surrounding scenery.’