The campfire on the Ovens River
The campfire on the Ovens River

Charles Rolando

1844 - 1893 The campfire on the Ovens River 1885-90
  • oil on canvas
141 cm x 76.5 cm



arrived in Australia in 1885

lived and worked in Melbourne

The campfire on the Ovens River c1885-90

oil on canvas

76cm x 140cm

Acquired in 1986


Charles Rolando was born in Florence, the son of an artist. He showed early ability in painting and studied in Florence as a young man before leaving Italy for England in 1870 and settling in Liverpool where he undertook a number of successful commissions.

Rolando arrived in Melbourne in mid-1885, after a spell of two years in South Africa, bringing with him several South African landscapes which drew immediate attention. In August he opened a studio in Grey Street, East Melbourne, and was soon painting landscapes of the Watts River and Gippsland Lakes country. He became a member of the Australian Artists' Association in 1886.

Considered somewhat of a recluse by Melbourne's artistic society, He died of bronchitis aged 49.

The campfire on the Ovens River demonstrates both a sensitivity in depicting the textures and tones of the Victorian landscape and a feeling for grand vista that distinguish the best of Rolando's work.

Source: Suzanne G. Mellor, 'Rolando, Charles (18441893)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1976, accessed online 11 July 2018





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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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