Alfred William Eustace
Alfred Eustace was born in an English village in 1820. He came to Australia with his wife and children in 1851 and lived in Chiltern, Victoria, where he worked as a shepherd on the Eldorado Run.
During his travels as a shepherd Eustace carried a set of oil paints, which he used to teach himself how to paint through experimentation. Lacking materials to paint on, he would sometimes paint on objects found in nature, as with the four landscapes he painted on gum leaves.
Noted for his skill in capturing the native bushland combined with the everyday lives of people in the area around Chiltern, Eustace became one of Australia's most admired landscape painters. He held exhibitions in Ballarat, Melbourne and Albury and was commissioned by prominent families in Europe.
As well as being a painter, Eustace was an accomplished poet and taxidermist. A collection of his birds and animals is held by the Beechworth Museum and he contributed poems and verses to the Chiltern newspaper during the 1870s.
Eustace's paintings are now held in the state collections of New South Wales and Victoria, as well as in collections in Europe and Russia.