Freemanart Gallery Charles Gordon Sebastian Hirst

Gallery Archive & Biography


Charles Gordon Sebastian Hirst (c.1826-90) Australian

' Erin's Home' 1876


S O L D to a major Australian public art gallery on behalf of our distinguished North American client:


A delightful and historical colonial school watercolour on paper, unframed:
Measuring 24 ½" x 15 ¾"
Signed and dated and intensively inscribed.

"Painted dal vero" (from the true one) "by C.G.S.HIRST ( BOTTOM LEFT)
"Boggo Qd. June 1876.(BOTTOM RIGHT)
Plus further separate paper inscription:

"ERIN'S HOME" The farmstead of Mr. and Mrs. J. Strong at Boggo, 4 am s f m ? Brisbane Queens.d
Depicting: a farmstead with working figures and many animals including kangaroos.

Price: By negotiation.



Little is known about our Charles Gordon Sebastian Hirst (c.1826-90), except that he was an itinerant artist who sketched mainly in southeastern Queensland from the early1870s.
He claimed to be a member of the 'Madras Institute' and to be an author and architect as well as an artist.
The naive aspect and the multiple viewpoints evident in his drawings of buildings would suggest his claim to architectural training is suspect. He produced a series of charming, naive renderings of houses (largely) and public buildings in the Ipswich and Toowoomba areas.
It comes in very handy that Hirst annotated his subjects so conscientiously as we can trace his progress up to a point.

The earliest work of his identified is that in the collection of the John Oxley Library, Brisbane. It depicts Ferriestown: The Farmstead of Mr John Campbell, at Laidley Creek: 26 miles from Ipswich, Queensland. It is dated August 1873.

The John Oxley Library also holds View of part of the township of the 'Rocky-water holes' on the Brisbane and Ipswich Road, 5 miles from Brisbane 1875

Hirst depicted the New Courthouse in Toowoomba in July 1879 and study of St Patrick's Catholic Church at Toowoomba about the same time.

Claremont House, the residence of Mr George Bashford, near Ipswich April 1881 is in the collection of the National Library of Australia, Canberra.

Wurtemburg Farm, the property of Mr. C.F. Sailer at Boggo (later the Brisbane suburb of Fairfield) is dated to the 1880s (also JOL)

He died in a boarding house in Brisbane in 1890 from an overdose of laudanum.

This painting of Erin's home June 1876, fits in quite nicely although I have no knowledge why the JOL Boggo subject is dated to the 1880s. It is quite typical of his known work.

The gaps in this series, particularly in the 1880s, suggest there are more to be found if, indeed, he was still producing images. His death may indicate why.

The status of art appreciation in Brisbane was at a minor key; the Queensland Art Society (largely a group of self-taught artists) was founded only in 1887. Such naive work was not unusual in Queensland at the time, as the Queensland Art Gallery recently acquired an example of the work of J. W. Laing (c. 1811-77) who was active in the Southeast corner of Queensland at almost the same time.

Few works on paper like this, survive. C.Hirst.

The National Library of Australia do hold one other work:
'Claremont, the residence of Mr. George Bashford, near Ipswich. 1881. Illustrated
'Claremont House' ? col AAGA p.89
'Claremont House' wc bw JBAX no.16
'Claremont House' wc bw CWAG p.60

We are informed by inheritance and descent since 1880.

Note: High quality - colour accurate images in TIFF format are available upon request, downloadable from our FTP site or direct to you by e mail as a JPEG image.


Biography written by David Freeman


Copyright 2002. Freemanart:
Unauthorized use of the images illustrated is prohibited and protected under
International laws of copyright.


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