William Kinloch Sprott

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1864, d.1893

Making A Chain

  • Presented to the Canterbury Society of Arts by Mr P Cunningham, 1893, and gifted to the Gallery in 1932
  • Oil on canvas
  • 1560 x 1150 x 120mm
  • 69/211
  • 1892

This is one of several paintings of Sumner beach, near Christchurch, which William Sprott painted while living in the area. The slightly sentimental subject of children at play would have been popular with the Victorian audience of the day. While the background of this work is based on the beach, the models were posed in the studio and added to the composition. This highlights Sprott’s academic approach to painting, which involved composing his works within the studio environment. Sprott was born in Dunedin and, after a brief career as an insurance clerk, developed an interest in painting. In 1884 he travelled to Europe and visited the major art galleries in London and Paris. He returned to New Zealand in 1886 and the next year studied at Canterbury College School of Art. In 1888 he made a second journey to England and on his return in 1890 began teaching at Canterbury College. He died young.