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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

GOLDIE, Charles Frederick 1870–1947

GOLDIE, Charles Frederick 1870–1947

Born Auckland, son of David Goldie, timber merchant. Educated at Auckland Grammar School where art master was J. G. Trevithick and by 1885 had begun to win certificates and prizes at exhibitions of Auckland Society of Arts and New Zealand Art Students Association. Studied art with L. J. Steele, also said to have taken lessons from artist Robert Atkinson. Went to Paris c.1892 and studied at Julian Academy under Bouguereau, Constant, Ferrier page 108 and Baschet: seems also to have studied portraiture in London from Sir James Guthrie. He visited and copied in many European galleries. In 1898 he returned to New Zealand and for a time shared a studio with Steele, teaching with him (The French Academy of Art): in 1899 collaborated with Steele in painting The Arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand, based on Gericault's Raft of Medusa. In 1901 Goldie paid his first visit to Rotorua, in 1901–02 Steele and Goldie were listed as partners in Wise's, but possibly by then the partnership was beginning to break up. Goldie took private pupils and taught at the Ladies College, Remuera. In 1906–07 he paid more visits to Rotorua and possibly the Taupo area, taking photographs and making sketches of Maori subjects. Although Goldie made his name painting portraits of Maoris he did paint portraits too of Europeans, and painted one large oil of a Biblical subject, this not only to satisfy his father, a very religious man, but to satisfy the critics who by that time were suggesting that pictures with a story base were more worthy than the ordinary depiction of a human face. In face of a lessening appreciation of his Maori subjects he set off in 1920 to return to France via Sydney but married in Sydney and stayed there painting copies of earlier Maori portraits. His health was deteriorating and he now is thought to have been affected by lead poisoning. By January 1923 he was back in Auckland but ill and doing little painting. At last in 1934, encouraged by Lord Bledisloe, the governor, he began painting seriously again and exhibited with RA 1934–48 and in Paris Salon. His health again deteriorated and he died in Auckland. Exhibited Auckland Industrial and Mining Exhibition 1898 work including copies of Tiepolo's Last Supper and Gericault's Raft of the Medusa. Work included in Centennial Ex, 1940. Represented in major NZ galleries, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Hawke's Bay Art Museum. Four crayon studies are in Turnbull.