Conrad Martens in Newcastle and the Hunter

The State Library of New South Wales has digitised a selection of Conrad Martens‘ drawings. Among them are drawings that document his travels though the Hunter in the years 1841 and 1852.

Conrad Martens (1801-1878), artist, was born in London England. In 1832 he joined the scientific team aboard the Beagle with Charles Darwin, replacing Augustus Earle as artist. He left the Beagle in October 1834 making his way eventually to Sydney in 1835. There he made his living selling water colour paintings among the Sydney elite. But the 1840s brought hard times and he was forced to travel to find a new market for his works among the settlers and squatters of New South Wales and Queensland. This economic downturn thankfully brought him to the Hunter Region in 1841 and again in 1852 where he was commissioned by a number of local landowners to paint their homesteads and environs. These land owners included Edward Charles Close Esq (Morpeth), Mrs Dumaresq (Port Stephens and Tahlee), Captain P.P. King (Tahlee, Lady Parry’s Seat, Buchan Mountain and Stroud), Alexander Walter Scott Esq (Burwood, Ash Island, Newcastle, Morriset’s Baths, Christ Church), H. Scott (Glendon), J. W. White Esq (Stroud, Tahlee), Captain Marcus Freeman Brownrigg, R.N. (Carrington, Port Stephens and Stroud) and C Kemp (Stroud) [Thanks to Conrad Martens “Account of Pictures Painted in N.S. Wales” Name Index to Patrons 1835-1878 Compiled by Michael Organ (1989)]

We have selected those drawings relating to Newcastle and the Hunter Region, and have re-arranged them in chronological order. The original sketches themselves are included across a variety of sketchbooks and are not in date order. The item number, title and link to the source album’s entry on the State Library’s site is included below each image. This allows us to course Marten’s journey through the region in a methodical manner. We are delighted that the State Library has digitised these works, and hope they continue making these treasures accessible. The drawings were obviously done before the paintings themselves, so it would be an interesting exercise to track down where the paintings of the scenes are now located. An exhibition of these selected drawings and their accompanying paintings would make a great attraction for art lovers and historians of the Hunter Region if it were to ever be assembled and curated.

80. View from Lady Parry’s Seat, Tahlee, 8th April 1841 by Conrad Martens

 Item 80 View from Lady Parry’s Seat, Tahlee, 8th April 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

View from Lady Parry’s Seat, Tahlee. Unsigned. Undated.

f.74 View from Lady Parry’s Seat, Tahlee. Unsigned. Undated. Titled at lower right.
From: Album of cloud studies, mountain, bush and harbour scenes, ca. 1841-1850 drawn by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=825948

Carrington, Port Stephens 10th April 1841

Item 56. Carrington, Port Stephens, 10th April 1841
From Conrad Martens sketches [of New South Wales 1835-1842]
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=446239

Valley of the Glouster

Item 57. Valley of the Glouster [sic] – 16th April 1841
From Conrad Martens sketches [of New South Wales 1835-1842]
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=446239

58. Pass of the Buckan 16th April 1841

58. Pass of the Buckan [i.e. Buchen] 16th April 1841
From Conrad Martens sketches [of New South Wales 1835-1842]
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=446239

69. Tahlee, Port Stephens 21st April 1841

 Item 69 Tahlee, Port Stephens 21st April 1841 from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

23. The Buckan Mountains on the “Gloucester”

Item 23. The Buckan [i.e. Buchen] Mountains on the “Gloucester”, 17th April 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

59. Tahlee. 23rd April 1841

Item 59. Tahlee. 23rd April 1841
From Conrad Martens sketches [of New South Wales 1835-1842]
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=446239

Mirranni from above the Station

60. Mirranni from above the Station, 30th April 1841
From Conrad Martens sketches [of New South Wales 1835-1842]
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=446239

The Hunter at Glendon 3rd May 1841

Item 6 The Hunter at Glendon 3rd May 1841
from [Album of] Pencil sketches, watercolours, etc.
by C. Martens, O.W. Brierly, S.T. Gill, John Rae, C. Rodius and others, ca. 1823-1863
http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=404878

The Yellow Rock, Wollombi Range, 3rd May 1841 by Conrad Martens

Item 66 The Yellow Rock, Wollombi Range, 3rd May 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

f.67 Yellow Rock, Wollombi Range. Unsigned. Undated.

Item f.67 Yellow Rock, Wollombi Range. Unsigned. Undated. Titled at lower left.
From: Album of cloud studies, mountain, bush and harbour scenes, ca. 1841-1850 drawn by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=825948

83. Tangorrin and Glendon Brook from near the Station, 4 May 1841

Item 83. Tangorrin and Glendon Brook from near the Station, 4 May 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

f.70 Glendon. Unsigned. Dated 5th May 1841

f.70 Glendon. Unsigned. Dated ‘May 5th, 41’. Titled at lower right.
From: Album of cloud studies, mountain, bush and harbour scenes, ca. 1841-1850 drawn by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=825948

46. Harpurs Hill, 7th May 1841

Item 46. Harpurs [i.e. Harpers] Hill, 7th May 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

f.13 On the Paterson River. Unsigned. Undated.

Item f.13 On the Paterson River. Unsigned. Undated. Titled on back in unknown hand.
From: Album of cloud studies, mountain, bush and harbour scenes, ca. 1841-1850 drawn by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=825948

4. Church at Morpeth 10th May 1841

Item 4 Church at Morpeth 10th May 1841
from [Album of] Pencil sketches, watercolours, etc.
by C. Martens, O.W. Brierly, S.T. Gill, John Rae, C. Rodius and others, ca. 1823-1863
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=404878

87. From Burwood near Newcastle, 11th May 1841, Shepherds Hill

Item 87 From Burwood near Newcastle, 11th May 1841, Shepherds Hill
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

Ash Island 12th May 1841 by Conrad Martens

Flyleaf Ash Island 12th May 1841
from [Album of] Pencil sketches, watercolours, etc.
by C. Martens, O.W. Brierly, S.T. Gill, John Rae, C. Rodius and others, ca. 1823-1863
View Album:http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=404878

61(a). Staghorn, 13th May 1841

Item 61(a). Staghorn, Acrostium Elkruomi [?], 13th May 1841
From Conrad Martens sketches [of New South Wales 1835-1842]
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=446239

61(b). Staghorn, 13th May 1841

Item 61(b). Staghorn, 13th May 1841
From Conrad Martens sketches [of New South Wales 1835-1842]
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=446239

Newcastle Church 13th May 1841 by Conrad Martens

Item 3 Newcastle Church 13th May 1841
from [Album of] Pencil sketches, watercolours, etc.
by C. Martens, O.W. Brierly, S.T. Gill, John Rae, C. Rodius and others, ca. 1823-1863
View Album:http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=404878

76. Morrisets Bath, Newcastle, 13th May 1841

Item 76 Morrisets Bath, Newcastle, 13th May 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

77. Nobby Rock, Newcastle, 13th May 1841

Item 77 Nobby Rock, Newcastle, 13th May 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

Untitled – Possibly Newcastle Harbour 13th May 1841

Item 78 [Untitled] Possibly Newcastle Harbour 13th May 1841 ?
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

79. View looking North from Churchyard, Newcastle, 14th May 1841

Item 79 View looking North from Churchyard, Newcastle, 14th May 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

Humes Craigs on the Gloucester 18th Sept 1842

Item f.75 Humes Craigs on the Gloucester. Unsigned. Dated ‘Sept 18th 42’ at lower right. Titled at lower right in unknown hand.
From Album of cloud studies, mountain, bush and harbour scenes, ca. 1841-1850 drawn by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=825948

Hume’s Craigs, on the ‘Gloucester’. Unsigned. Undated.

f.68 Hume’s Craigs, on the ‘Gloucester’. Unsigned. Undated. Titled at lower right.
From Album of cloud studies, mountain, bush and harbour scenes, ca. 1841-1850 drawn by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=825948

f.5 Nobby’s Newcastle. Unsigned. Undated. Untitled.

f.5 Nobby’s Newcastle. Unsigned. Undated. Untitled. [1843?]
from Portfolio collection of views, mainly in New South Wales, volume 5, ca. 1836-1873 drawn by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=825931#

21. Wool shed. A.A.Company near Stroud. May 7 1852 (Courtesy of the State Library of NSW)
21. Wool shed. A.A.Company near Stroud. May 7 1852 (Courtesy of the State Library of NSW)

Item 21. Wool Shed near Stroud. May 7 1852
from South-east Queensland, New England and Hunter Valley, N.S.W., 1852, pencil sketches by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://www.acmssearch.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/itemDetailPaged.cgi?itemID=430991

99. Stroud, 8th May 1852

Item 99 Stroud, 8th May 1852
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

54. Kerua River, Tilligherry, 8th May 1852

Item 54. Kerua [i.e. Karuah] River, Tilligherry, 8 May 1852
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

Booral near Stroud, 10th May 1852

f.15 Booral nr. Stroud. Unsigned. Titled and dated ‘May 10th/52’ at lower right.
from Album of sketches in Sydney, New England and Queensland, ca. 1852-1878 drawn by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=825940

67. Carrington, Port. Stephens, 11th May 1852

Item 67 Carrington, Port. Stephens, 11th May 1852
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

64. Valley of the Glocester

Item 64 Valley of the Glocester [1852?]
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

19b. Newcastle – 16 May 1855

Items 19b. Newcastle, showing the soil reclaimed by enclosure from the sand – 16 May 1855
From Colonial sketches: an album of views of Sydney and NSW by E. West, F. Terry, Conrad Martens et. al.
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=449077#

Pencilled map of a region’s memory – H1 11 Feb 2012 p.14

Conrad Martens drawings digitised by The State Library of New South Wales.
Hunter Region related items sourced and chronologically arranged by Gionni Di Gravio
February 2011


2 thoughts on “Conrad Martens in Newcastle and the Hunter

  1. An interesting collection, especially those of Nobbys before it had its top blown off, and the old church in N’cle.
    On a less positive note, I see the old facade of the Fred Ash building is gone.

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