Charles Conder


Artist Biography:

Charles Edward Conder was an English-born painter, lithographer and designer. He emigrated to Australia and was a key figure in the Heidelberg School, which latterly has been described as Australian Impressionism arguably the beginning of a distinctively Australian tradition in Western art. Conder was born in Tottenham, Middlesex, the second son, of six children. He spent several years as a young child in India and schooled in England. In 1884, at the age of 16, he was sent to Sydney, Australia, where he worked for his uncle, a land surveyor for the New South Wales government. However he disliked the work, much preferring to draw the landscape rather than survey it. In 1886, he left the job and became an artist for the "Illustrated Sydney News", where he was in the company of other artists and joined the Art Society of New South Wales. In 1888, Conder moved to Melbourne where he met other Australian artists including Arthur Streeton, and shared a studio with Tom Roberts both key figures in the Australian Impressionist movement. Conder was a fun-loving man who painted with an often humorous touch. Conder left Australia in 1890, and spent the rest of his life in Europe, mainly England, but visiting France on many occasions. His art was better received in England than in Paris. In 1892, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec painted his portrait, this sketch is owned by the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum. He spent the last year of his life in a sanatorium, and died in Holloway Sanatorium of "general paresis of the insane", in modern terms tertiary syphilis. In death, Conder's work was rated highly by many notable artists, such as Pissarro and Degas.

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