The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Charles Conder, 1868-1909

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1868.10.24
Place of Birth: India
Date of Death: 1909.02.09
Place of Death: Virginia Water Asylum, Surrey


Charles Edward Conder married in 1901.


Conder travelled to Australia in 1884 in order to become a surveyor under his uncle W. J. Conder. There he began to attend evening classes at the Royal Art Society in Sydney. He worked as a lithographic draughtsman for the Illustrated Sydney News from 1887. Influenced by Tom Roberts he produced works in an Impressionist vein, eg. Departure of the 'SS Orient' from Circular Quay (1888; Sydney Art Gallery). In 1888 he moved to Melbourne and worked alongside a group of painters known as the Heidelberg School.

In the late 1880s his work began to display the combined influence of JW and Japanese prints, eg. A Holiday at Mentone (1888; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide). In April 1890 he travelled to Paris where he became friends with William Rothenstein, Louis Anquetin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and painted figures on silk panels for fans, screens, wall decorations and dresses. There he fell in love with Louise Kinsella, one of the three daughters of the American newspaper editor Thomas Kinsella, whose portrait both he and JW painted (Rose et vert: L'Iris - Portrait of Miss Kinsella (YMSM 420)). Conder exhibited annually at the New English Art Club from 1894 and at the Carfax Gallery in London from 1899 to 1902.

He also exhibited with the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, of which JW was the first President. Conder bought JW's Portrait Sketch of F. R. Leyland (YMSM 96) and Nocturne: Cremorne Gardens, No. 3 (YMSM 165), lending them to the London Memorial Exhibition in 1905.


Gibson, F., Charles Conder: His Life and Work, London, 1914; Rothenstein, J., The Life and Death of Conder, London, 1938; Hoff, U., Charles Conder: His Australian Years, Melbourne, 1960; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Hoff, U., Charles Conder, Melbourne, 1972; Clarke, J. (ed.), Golden Summers: Heidelberg and beyond, Melbourne National Gallery, 1985; Hoff, Ursula, 'Charles (Edward) Condor', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 22 February 2002).