Princes Bridge, Melbourne, by Moonlight 1879. Julian Rossi Ashton.
Julian Rossi Ashton

1851 - 1942

Princes Bridge, Melbourne, by Moonlight 1879

21 x 35.5 cm

Purchased c1920s by James Taylor Gray who served on Williamstown Council for almost 40 years between 1928 and 1965 including four terms as Mayor. Thence by descent to Mrs C. Aitkin, Williamstown

Illustrated Australian News, 15 March 1880, engraving by Samuel Calvert

“ Mr. Julian Ashton has just completed a set of 10 watercolour drawings of scenes on the Yarra, in the immediate vicinity of Melbourne; the points of view selected lying within the limits of Brander’s Ferry on the one side and Cole’s Wharf on the other.  Nothing, it might be thought, could be more unpromising for artistic purposes than the foulest and ugliest part of the river which has been unfortunately transformed into a huge sewer.  But just as M. Buvelot has revealed all sorts of previously unnoticed beauties in our indigenous timber and foliage, and has caused us to look upon our sylvan scenery with something like a new sense of vision, so Mr Ashton has proved that, under certain aspects of the sky, and at particular periods of the day, the Yarra and the most prosaic objects on its banks, may be presented to the eye on paper, in such a way as to charm the vision, without any sacrifice of accuracy to pictorial effect. ...” The Argus, 11 Sept. 1879, p5


This is a view of the second bridge on the main street of Melbourne where crossing the river, Swanston Street becomes St. Kilda Road.  It was designed by Scottish stonemason, David Lennox and opened in 1851. It was a single span bluestone and granite arch and was one of the longest, flattest stone arch bridges in the world. 

It was replaced with the current bridge in 1888.


Julian Rossi Ashton arrived in Australia in 1878 to work on David Syme’s Illustrated Australian News. In 1883 he moved to Sydney where he had a long and successful career as an artist, art teacher and illustrator.  He is represented in

many State galleries and regional galleries throughout NSW                                             


Item #1794


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