Exhibition of Early
Georgiana returned to Melbourne in November 1850 when Port Philip was separated from New South Wales. The Bunurong people were part of the McCrae life at Arthur's Seat, and Georgiana learnt the language and painted portraits of Benbenjie and Eliza. They left Arthur's Seat by 1851, by which time Melbourne had been seized up by the gold rush.
Andrew McCrae had become a Police Magistrate in Alberton, Gippsland, and Georgiana and the children lived in La Trobe Street West. Georgiana greatly enjoyed the intellectuals who were brought to her house by gold, especially the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite movement and William Howitt, who wrote Love, Labour and Gold.
In 1854 she met Nicholas Chevalier, one of the foremost painters of the Australian landscape. In 1856 she met Louisa Anne Meredith who was a painter and poet, and they stayed friends until Georgiana's death. There was another female artist who came to Melbourne in 1852 - Julie Visseux. Despite the artistic and intellectual stimulus of gold-rush Melbourne, McCrae seemed to have done little of her own painting from 1851-69, except for a portrait of Meredith and two studies of Hewitt. In 1857 she exhibited with the Victorian Society of Fine Arts, and the Argus was greatly impressed. There were nine pencil/watercolour drawings and miniatures on ivory.
The belated professional stimulation and recognition was not to last, however, regarding the turmoil in her personal life caused her role on the perphirery of the Scottish aristocracy and her respectable life in the colonies technically with but in practice often apart from Andrew McCrae.
Read more about this topic: Georgiana Mc Crae, Return To Melbourne, Artistic and Intellectual Stimulation in The Goldfields
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