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Charles Conder, Stella Maris Condor and Florence Humphrey at les Petites Dalles, Normandy
, 1902

by H. Walter Barnett

platinum photograph (sheet: 13.8 cm x 24.5 cm, image: 13.5 cm x 24.0 cm)

Charles Conder (1868–1909), painter, left London at age 15 to work on the New South Wales gold fields, and took up painting in Sydney. In 1888 he began painting with Tom Roberts, and later that year he moved to Melbourne. Conder, Roberts, and Arthur Streeton frequently painted together on the outskirts of Melbourne, forming the principal trio of the group of impressionist landscape artists known as the ‘Heidelberg School’. The beachscape A holiday at Mentone 1888 is Conder’s great contribution to the group of paintings these artists created. In 1890 Conder went to study in Paris, where he moved in Bohemian circles, coming under the influence of Toulouse-Lautrec, who painted his portrait. His lasting fame derives from the paintings on silk, often in fan shapes, that he made in this period. He married the Canadian socialite and widow Stella Maris Belford (d. 1912) in Paris in 1901. Conder was stimulating company, and the couple’s London home was famous for its parties.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2001
Accession number: 2001.167