Signed and dated lower left, C. Martens 1849.

This watercolour of Sydney Harbour seen from the North Shore looking across to the city, is a fine example of Conrad Martens’ masterful handling of the Australian landscape. As in many of his paintings, the foreground is highly detailed whilst the background deliberately sits in a shadowy light with important details outlined in Martens’ unique white highlighting.

SKU SF000846 Category


Conrad Martens (1801-1878), perhaps the best known of all colonial artists, arrived in Sydney in 1835 after working his way around the world, including a year’s appointment as artist on the hydrographical survey voyage of the Beagle, during which his shipmate was Charles Darwin.

Martens established himself in the relatively lucrative business of teaching drawing and painting from his premises in The Rocks. He moved to St Leonards, asthe North Shore of Sydney was then known, in 1844 and built a Gothic style sandstone house, Rockleigh Grange, on five acres of land with is wife Jane, the daughter of William Carter – Sheriff and later Registrar-General of the Colony. They remained there for the rest of his life.

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Conrad Martens


Paper, Watercolour