Hern, Charles Edward (1848-93; Australian/English)
Fishing boats, Rhyl
Watercolour, c.45.72 x 73.66 cm
Purchased, 1892; de-accessioned, 1950
Unidentified; present location unknown

Another work bought from the 1892 Anglo-Australian Exhibition in Melbourne, this example was still listed in the NGV collection in 1914 and 1915, when it was recorded in the gallery’s annual reports as on loan to the Maryborough and Mildura shire councils respectively.

The NGV’s stock-book notes that it was subsequently de-accessioned and “donated to the Melb. Sailors’ Home, Spencer Street, by Order in Council, 4.1.45,” together with * Cook: Venice (Evening) 1889 {1892} Loc? [WT].

The artist, whose surname is sometimes also spelt Herne (as in both NGV 1894 and 1905), was born in Sydney, and worked in Australia until the early 1880s, when he relocated to London, becoming so successful that he was employed to teach watercolour technique to the daughters of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII.

Three of his watercolours, including the example reproduced here, were bought for the Sydney gallery in the 1880s.

[comparative work: Near Fulham docks 1886 (AGNSW)]


AR 1892, p.23 (as Herne); SB, p.432 (as noted above); NGV 1894, p.46 (II.Stawell Gallery, no.18: as Herne; giving size as 18 x 29½ inches); NGV 1905, p.42 (II.Stawell Gallery, no.18: as Herne) [£60] 

See also annual reports of the SLV/NGV for 1914 and 1915, pp.39 and 30 respectively (available online), as mentioned. For further details about the artist, and other examples, see Bénézit 6, p.1448 (as 1848-94); Mallalieu (1976), p.132 (as Herne); and http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=hern-charles-edward (the work reproduced above was purchased in 1888)