C1856

Melbourne, 1856.

Artist:

George Strafford (1820 - 1886)

View looking north across Yarra with Prince’s Bridge at centre. Strafford was an Australian artist and engraver, active from 1840 to c.1860. Born in India and studied in England under the engraver Edward Goodall. With Goodall&#8217s sons, Edward the younger … Read Full Description

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S/N: VM-1856-INGL–218635
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Details

Full Title:

Melbourne, 1856.

Date:

C1856

Artist:

George Strafford (1820 - 1886)

Condition:

Minor spots of surface loss, small repaired tear at left hand side margin, not affecting image, otherwise in good condition.

Technique:

Original engraving.

Image Size: 

382mm 
x 170mm
AUTHENTICITY
Melbourne, 1856. - Antique Print from 1856

Genuine antique
dated:

1856

Description:

View looking north across Yarra with Prince’s Bridge at centre. Strafford was an Australian artist and engraver, active from 1840 to c.1860. Born in India and studied in England under the engraver Edward Goodall. With Goodall&#8217s sons, Edward the younger and Frederick, he visited France in the early 1840s on a sketching tour. He exhibited paintings of French scenes at London&#8217s Royal Academy in 1842, 1844 and 1845 and at the British Institution in 1844, at which time he was living at 6 Jeffrey&#8217s Terrace, Kentish Town. Strafford was acquainted with John Ruskin, who thought so highly of him that he employed him to make designs for his Shield of Achilles. By the mid-1840s he was producing imaginative designs, sketches of Gothic fantasy and visions compared with those by William Blake. In 1847 he married Mary Hemmings in Paris. By the late 1840s Strafford was suffering from hallucinations and showing signs of mental instability, which was evident in his work. His failing health and a weakness in his lungs led to his emigration to Melbourne in 1851 where he was employed by Thomas Ham to produce engraved illustrations &#8211 The Water Seeker, The Gold Seeker and Gold Digger of Victoria &#8211 for the Illustrated Australian Magazine. Later he worked for De Gruchy &amp Leigh, for whom he produced the engraving Melbourne 1856 Taken from the South Side of the Yarra. Samuel Calvert also employed him in the late 1850s, particularly for drawing on wood. At least twelve of his drawings were reproduced as wood-engravings in the Newsletter of Australasia between 1859 and 1861 and the surrounds of the cover illustration used on some issues was also to his design. Strafford&#8217s wife died on 21 August 1857, leaving him with no kin in the colony of Australia. By August 1861 his mental instability, accentuated by her death, had increased to such an extent that John J. Mouritz, the Baptist minister of Fitzroy, petitioned for his entry into the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum to which he was admitted on 27 September. He was discharged into Mouritz&#8217s care in December 1864 but after Mouritz&#8217s death was readmitted on 1 June 1869 on the petition of Samuel Calvert, listed in the asylum records as the patient&#8217s friend. Strafford was transferred to Carlton Asylum in May 1871, to Kew in June 1873 and to Beechworth on 9 February 1876. He died in the Beechworth Asylum on 13 February 1896.

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