English-born Australian Painter, 1868-1909
English painter, active in Australia and France. He was sent to Australia in 1884 to learn surveying under his uncle W. J. Conder. After about two years in survey camps, he attended evening classes at the Royal Art Society, Sydney; in 1887 he worked as a lithographic draughtsman for the Illustrated Sydney News. Tom Roberts, then in Sydney on a visit from Melbourne, was among the open-air landscape painters that he knew at this time. He taught Conder some of the principles of Impressionism, such as truth to the momentary effect of light and to colour values, and the rejection of the academic ideal of high finish. The most important painting of Conder's Sydney years, the Departure of the 'SS Orient' from Circular Quay, 1888 (1888; Sydney, A.G. NSW), already showed a distinct personal style, combining humour with nostalgia and selective observation with decorative finesse of handling and design. In December 1888 Conder joined Roberts and Arthur Streeton in Melbourne. During the following summers they painted together at the outer suburbs of Mentone, Box Hill and Eaglemont
Centennial Choir at Sorrento
1889, oil on panel, 10.5 x 23.5 cm) by Charles Conder (1868?C1909).