View of Sydney, NSW
View of Sydney, NSW

Conrad Martens

1801 - 1878 View of Sydney, NSW 1855
  • hand-coloured lithograph
53 cm x 32 cm

One of the only professional painters to settle permanently in Australia and make a living from his work during the first half of the 19th century, Conrad Martens was Sydney's pre-eminent landscape painter.

Versed in the style of 17th-century French artist Claude Lorrain and the most famous British artist of his age, JMW Turner, Martens adapted his academic approach to painting to respond to the unique characteristics of the Australian environment and the local conditions of the colonial market.

The son of an English mother and the Austrian Consul General in London, Martens pursued a career in painting following his father's death in 1816.

In 1833 Martens joined the HMS Beagle on a scientific survey expedition at Montevideo, South America, as ship's artist, replacing the ailing Augustus Earle. He befriended the ship's naturalist, Charles Darwin, whose empirical observation of landscape forms and climatic conditions would influence Martens' practice. Source: Art Gallery of New South Wales.

More by this artist

Conrad Martens 1801 - 1878 View of Sydney Harbour from Kirribilli
  • watercolour on paper heightened with white
43 cm x 29.5 cm

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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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