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Conrad Martens: Artist of Fortune
Issue: Spring 2009
Dr Mitchell's residence, Cumberland Place, The Rocks, Sydney, oil painting, 32 x 47 cm, by Conrad Martens. Historic Houses Trust NSW, Image Number 30934
In August 1833, a young English landscape painter named Conrad Martens arrived in the port of Montevideo on Uruguay’s southern coast, hopeful of securing an appointment. Anchored offshore for a refit was the ten-gun brig, HMS Beagle, which had left England almost two years earlier to complete the Royal Navy’s survey of the coast of South America. Martens joined the Beagle for a time, and then travelled on to Sydney where he made his name as a leading colonial artist.
By Warwick Hirst