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Settler's Hut
1880.. Watercolour, 43 x 65 cm. signed and dated 1880 lower right, mounted and framed. This lovely watercolour is probably of a valley in the Bathurst region of New South Wales as the artist Edward Combes lived at Glanmire from the 1860's. It captures the isolation of early Australian settlement showing the simple timber slab homestead and the family's activities around it.Edward Combes (1830 -1895) was an engineer, pastoralist, politician and painter. He arrived from Wilshire England in 1851 to join the gold rush at Ballarat and Bendigo. In 1854 he returned to Paris for two years training in scientific engineering and studied water colour drawing. On his return to Australia a few years later he moved to New South Wales bought land and built Glanmire Hall with his new English wife.By 1870 he was well known throughout this central western district of New South Wales and pursued interests in both politics and art. In 1878 he was the executive commissioner at the Paris International Exhibition followed by commissioner for NSW at the Melbourne International Exhibition. He was also a member of the Legislative Council and contributed significantly to the development of colonial public works and education policy.In 1879 he directed the art section of the Garden Palace Exhibition. The Bulletin, on the 23rd. April 1881 described him as the "best amateur painter in Sydney and the wonder is that the prosy engineer can find time to indulge in the "seraph ecstasy" of a pictorial ideal". His paintings were exhibited in London galleries and at the Paris salon and he was on the committee of the NSW Academy of Art and president of the Art Society of NSW where he also exhibited his work.Unusually, Combes did not seek recognition in Australia as a painter but was highly regarded in London and Paris, so perhaps his political and artistic leadership positions dictated this distinction. The Art Gallery of New South Wales which he helped to found and to direct for over twenty years received from him a single etching of one of his paintings. A portrait bust of this outstanding nineteenth century polymath by Simonetti is in the Gallery.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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