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Charles Conder (1868-1909)
The Waterfall 1889
oil on paper
17.3 x 12.1 cm
Gift of Howard Hinton 1946


Born 1868, London, England. Died 1909, Surrey, England.

Charles Conder was one of the key founders of the Heidelberg School of Australian Impressionism. Along with Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin, Walter Withers and Tom Roberts, he drew on naturalist and impressionist ideas and sought to depict the Australian bush and the harsh sunlight.

Conder was sent to Australia from London in 1884 to assist his uncle in the New South Wales Lands Department. After taking an apprenticeship in lithography he attended painting classes at the Art Society of New South Wales and went on sketching tours of the Hawkesbury River with Julian Ashton.

In 1888 Conder met Roberts and the two painted together at Coogee. In October he moved to Melbourne and spent the summers of 1888/89 and 1889/90 with Roberts and Streeton at the Eaglemont camp near Heidelberg in Victoria.

This small oil sketch, painted during this period, was likely to have been painted quickly by Conder, en plein-air, and captures the moving cascade of water down into the pool below.

Conder left Australia in 1890 for Europe, first to study in Paris before taking up residence in London in 1894. He continued to paint garden and beach scenes and became famous for his watercolour fan designs.