Charles Worsley

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

Lyttelton Harbour

  • Presented by the Imperial Institute, 1932
  • Watercolour
  • 292 x 492mm
  • 69/63
  • c. 1908

This view, looking north east towards the heads of Lyttelton Harbour, is one of a number of scenes of the Harbour that Charles Worsley painted while he was living in Christchurch and at a time when his work was proving popular with New Zealand and Australian audiences. This work is thought to have originally been part of a collection of Worsley’s paintings stored by his wife, Beatrice, with the Imperial Institute in Christchurch after his death in 1923. She instructed the Institute to select and present a work to the Robert McDougall Art Gallery. Worsley was born in England and from 1881 studied art in London, Belgium and France before settling back in London in 1886. He began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1889. Worsley and his wife left England in 1896, went to Australia, but settled in New Zealand in 1898. They lived in a number of places, including Christchurch between 1901 and 1904. Worsley left New Zealand permanently in 1919 and eventually returned to Britain.