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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

HEAPHY, Charles V. C. 1820–1881

HEAPHY, Charles V. C. 1820–1881

Born England, son of Thomas Heaphy, official artist to Duke of page 122 Wellington in Peninsular Wars and founder of Society of British Artists. Trained as an artist RA school from 1837; in 1839 appointed artist and draughtsman to New Zealand Co: arrived in Port Nicholson in August 1839 on Tory. Early paintings of Wellington area, Northland, Chatham Is, and Nelson sent to directors of Co. and four paintings published as lithographs to encourage emigration. In late 1841 Heaphy back to England with despatches and in 1842 published Narrative of a Residence in Various Parts of New Zealand. Returned to New Zealand by end of 1842, took up land near Motueka, and later lived in Nelson though he made exploration expeditions in hinterland and on West Coast. Began civil service career in 1848 as draughtsman in Survey Office, was first Commissioner of Goldfields and J.P. in 1852, Auckland Provincial Surveyor to NZ Government 1864. Took part in Waikato Wars 1863 and was first volunteer soldier ever to be awarded V.C. He laid out town of Hamilton 1865, was M.P. in 1867, Commissioner of Native Reserves 1869, Land Claims Commissioner 1870. Heaphy's early topographical work is historically invaluable and best known of his work except for romantic watercolours of Bream Head 1855. Until 1865 his civil service career kept him in the capital, Auckland, and he made many drawings there but seemingly few watercolours. In later years, perhaps by the demands on him of his career and through deteriorating health, he produced little work. In mid 1881 he and his wife went to Australia because of his health but he died in Brisbane in August. Engravings after Heaphy are used as illustrations for folio Illustrations to Wakefield's “Adventure in New Zealand pub. 1845. A great collection of drawings of Heaphy's in AIML, many important works in Turnbull. Represented also in ACAG.