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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

DOMETT, Alfred 1811–1887

DOMETT, Alfred 1811–1887

Arrived Nelson 1842 and for some time played a leading part in provincial and national politics. However, his tastes were more towards the arts: when Parliament met in Auckland he and his friends J. C. and C. W. Richmond used to have evenings reading poetry aloud, and he will principally be remembered as a poet himself, the writer of Ranulf and Amohia pub. 1883, and as having been, in London, a friend of the poet Robert Browning. The poem is long and now thought boring. The paintings he exhibited with the Society of Artists, Auckland, sound pompous and boring too, but among the drawings in the Turnbull are straightforward ones drawn while he was in the General Assembly in Auckland, but looking out of the window rather than listening to a debate; and at least one witty cartoon of policemen leading away a drunken parliamentarian. He was never known for political energy, and was affectionately known to the Richmonds as “Old Brown Eyes”. Exhibited: Society of Artists, Auckland 1871, ASA 1881. Pencil drawings in Hocken. Work at the Turnbull includes Jamaican and North American drawings as well as New Zealand subjects.