Artist Profile

Charles Nathaniel Worsley

Born 1862, Died 1923

Born in Sidmouth, Devon, Worsley began exhibiting with the Royal Academy, London in 1889 before traveling extensively in Europe.

Whilst in Europe (1892 – 95) Worsley exhibited with the Royal Society of Artists Birmingham, Walker Gallery Liverpool, Manchester Art Gallery, Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, the Royal Institute of Painters in watercolour, the Royal Institute of oil painters and the Paris Salon.

After two years in Australia, Worsley immigrated to New Zealand in 1898 and settled in Gisborne. In the same year, Worsley began exhibiting at several annual exhibitions including the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Auckland Society of Arts and the Canterbury Society of Arts, where the watercolour "Berne Switzerland" was purchased for their collection. This proved to be only the beginning of many more exhibitions in the following years.

During the 1900's Worsley was regarded as one of New Zealand's most popular artists. His distinctly European imagery set him apart from his contemporaries, and drew complimentary appraisal from a variety of art critics.

In 1901 Worsley was elected a working member of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales and the Canterbury Society of Arts, to whose council he was later elected. The National Art Gallery of New South Wales purchased Worsley's watercolour from their 1901 annual society exhibition. This was to be the gallery's first purchase of a number of his works.

The New Zealand International Exhibition (Christchurch) in 1906 saw Worsley awarded two gold medals. Three years later, The Modern Gallery in London held a solo exhibition of his works entitled 'New Zealand Views'.

In 1923, two months before his sudden death from bronchial pneumonia, an exhibition of twenty-five watercolours was held at Sunderland Public Art Gallery, from which Queen Mary purchased a work for the Royal Collection.

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