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National Centennial Exhibition of New Zealand Art Catalogue

Samuel Butler

page 26

Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler, author of the famous satire Erewhon, was also a painter in oils and exhibited at the Royal Academy. He was born in Nottinghamshire and came to New Zealand in 1860, establishing a sheep farm up the Rangitata river. He returned to England after doubling his capital and devoted himself to letters. He was extremely versatile, painting, writing, and composing with equal facility. He had a most interesting but unfruitful controversy with Darwin over the latter's evolutionary theories and died in 1902 in the middle of composing an oratorio. The South Island of New Zealand is the background of most of his early writings (notably Erewhon) and paintings.

48            SELF PORTRAIT (oil)

Lent by the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch