Samuel Chamberlain was an American etcher, lithographer, teacher, writer and lecturer and a member of the National Academy of Design in New York City; the Society of Etchers in Brooklyn, NY; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Chicago Society of Etchers.
Scarce etched view of Coogee looking towards Dunningham Reserve from a spot near the present day Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club. This is the largest colonial printed image of Coogee. Combes's paintings were highly regarded in London and Paris and he was a member of the Royal Institute of Water-colour Painters, but he did not seek a colonial reputation. To the Art Gallery of New South Wales that he helped to establish and directed for twenty years he gave only one work, this etching.
Coogee beach was a favourite painting destination for a number of significant Australian artists such Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and Charles Conder. The tram line from Randwick to Coogee that had opened in 1883 made it much more accesible and from that time it quickly developed.
Coombes had developed his artistic skill. In 1879 he directed the art section of the Garden Palace Exhibition. The Bulletin, 23 April 1881, described him as the 'best amateur painter in Sydney and the wonder [is] … that the prosy mechanical engineer can find time to indulge in the “seraph ecstasy” of a pictorial ideal'. He showed his work in London galleries and at the Paris salon. In 1883 he was on the committee of the New South Wales Academy of Art, formed in 1871, and president of the Art Society of New South Wales. Apparently through his efforts, the government in 1874 granted £500 towards the formation of an art gallery useful to students, a step said to mark the foundation of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Combes was appointed one of the five trustees to administer the fund. When the trust was reconstituted in 1876 he was abroad, but in England he persuaded the trustees to spend their entire annual grant of £500 on Ford Madox Brown's 'Chaucer at the Court of Edward III', the first oil painting bought by the gallery and still one of its most prized works.
Combes's painting was highly regarded in London and Paris and he was a member of the Royal Institute of Water-colour Painters, but he did not seek a colonial reputation. To the gallery he helped to found and to direct for twenty years he gave only one work, an etching of one of his paintings. In 1895 his family gave the gallery 'La Perouse, Botany Bay', a water-colour of which a large version in oils had won honourable mention at the Paris salon. It was hung in an 'English', not an 'Australian' gallery for many years and later lent to Vaucluse House.
In 1883-89 as president of the Board of Technical Education Combes helped to raise the standard of trades and professional training; he visited Europe in 1885 and his report on overseas technical education was a stimulus to its development in all Australian colonies. In 1889-90 in London he successfully negotiated the publication of Parkes's Fifty Years in the Making of Australian History (London, 1892). Combes died at Glanmire Hall on 18 October 1895, and was buried in the Church of England section of the Waverley cemetery. His wife had died in 1883. Of their three sons and three daughters, Alice Herminie was a gifted water-colourist, and Frances Selina James, who married Alfred Ivatt, published over the name 'Lee Ivatt' between 1910 and 1931 four volumes of verse and a story for children.
Edward Coombes (1830-1895)
Fred Slocombe (1847-1920_
275mm × 540mm
540mm × 805mm
A couple of minor scratches in margins, otherwise in good condition.
Superb large etching of the interior of St Mark's Venice by Axel Herman Haig a Swedish-born artist and illustrator. His paintings, illustrations and etchings, undertaken for himself and on behalf of many of the foremost architects of the Victorian period made him "the Piranesi of the Gothic Revival." wiki