Charles Worsley

British / Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1863, d.1923

After Mass Majorca

  • Presented by the family of James Jamieson 1932
  • Watercolour
  • 1615 x 1087mm
  • 69/506
  • c. 1900

Charles Worsley made several summer visits to the island of Majorca and this work shows the square in front of the church at Palma. The painting belongs to the Victorian fashion for picturesque scenes in exotic European locations. The blackfrocked priest is chatting with his parishioners as a woman comforts a small girl who has dropped and broken her rosary. These imaginary human dramas were probably developed from sketches in Worsley’s workbooks. In After Mass, Majorca he has expertly overlaid the watercolours and the work shows the artistic control and expertise that reflect his Royal Academy training. Worsley was born in Devon and studied art in London, Antwerp and Paris. He settled in London and began exhibiting at the Royal Institute for British Artists in 1887, then at the Royal Academy in 1889. His wife, Beatrice, suffered from asthma and in 1896 they left England, arriving in New Zealand in 1898. They lived in a number of places, including Christchurch, before returning to Britain in 1920.