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Henry Samuel Sadd

1811 – 1893

Henry Sadd was born in London and exhibited engravings there before emigrating to the USA some time around 1840. He spent the 1840s in New York and exhibited at the National Academy. In America he engraved a portrait of Benjamin Franklin and a scene of George Washington delivering his inaugural address. He arrived in Australia in 1853 and worked in Sydney and Melbourne, publishing in the Examiner and Melbourne Weekly News and the Illustrated Australian News, for which he made portrait engravings on wood. He exhibited his work at the Victorian Exhibition of Art in 1856, and with the Victorian Society of Fine Arts in 1857. Many of his portraits were derived from photographs. Having become renowned for the delicacy of his mezzotint technique, Sadd was severely injured in 1875 when an unfinished building collapsed onto a printery in which he was working. Nonetheless, he continued to exhibit his mezzotint portraits into the 1880s, when accelerating developments in photography rendered his printing methods obsolete. He died in St Kilda, forty years after his arrival in the colonies.

Updated 2015