Charles Bryant’s – Rabaul without a cause

charles-bryantCharles David Jones Bryant (11 May 1883 – 22 January 1937) was an Australian marine artist. Born at Enmore in Sydney, he was educated at Sydney Grammar School.

Bryant studied painting under William Lister Lister and was an exhibitor at the Royal Art Society of New South Wales for some years. He went to London in 1908 and studied with John Hassall and Julius Olsson, A.R.A., at St Ives, in Cornwall. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon, where he received an honorable mention for “Morning Mists” in 1913, and with many well-known societies.

He was appointed an official war artist on the Western Front in 1917 and commissioned  many paintings for the Australian government. Sixty-nine of these are part of the Australian War Memorial collection in Canberra.

    • In 1922, Bryant returned to Australia and in 1923 was sent to the mandated territories in New Guinea to paint scenes of the occupation by the Australians.
    • In 1925, he painted a picture of the American fleet which was presented by Sydney citizens to the United States government. This picture is now at the Capitol, Washington.

Returning to England; some 10 years passed before Bryant returned to Australia.

    • He had a very successful one-man show in Sydney towards the end of 1936, which was followed by another in Melbourne.
    • He held various official positions with art societies, having been a member of the council of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, a vice-president of the Royal Art Society, Sydney, and president of the London Sketch Club.
    • He is represented in the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Castlemaine and Manly galleries, as well as the Australian War Memorial and the Imperial War Museum, London.

Unmarried, he died at Manly, Sydney on 22 January 1937 and he was buried in the  Church of England cemetery.

  • Above image – The Harbour from Fort Raluana, Blanche Bay was painted in Rabaul, New Britain, 1923. (oil on canvas on cardboard, acquired under commission in 1924 –  Australian War Memorial, Canberra).

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