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Doudiet, Charles Alphonse (1832 - 1913)


Geneva-born artist Charles Doudiet arrived at Port Phillip in 1852. His sketches of Ballarat and the Eureka Stockade vividly capture both the drama and the historical detail of the goldfields in rebellion. Doudiet may have been a participant at the Stockade on 3 December and his notes record that he helped carry the dying Captain Ross to the Free Trade Hotel on the 5th. Doudiet left Australia for Canada in 1857 and one of the most important eyewitness accounts of Eureka disappeared from public knowledge.

In 1996, having been rediscovered in the gloom of a Canadian attic, a series of watercolours titled The Charles Doudiet Sketchbook were purchased at auction by the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. After 140 years Doudiet’s works returned to Ballarat, filling a key gap in the contemporary visual documentation of the Stockade and the Eureka Flag.

Ben Mountford

Corfield, Justin, Dorothy Wickham and Clare Gervasoni, The Eureka encyclopedia, Ballarat Historical Society, Ballarat, 2004. Details