Henry Gritten

Henry Gritten, 'Sunnyside Hobarton', undated (ALMFA, SLT)

Henry Gritten (181873), painter and photographer. When he arrived in Melbourne in 1853, he had been an established painter in London and had exhibited in New York. Unsuccessful prospecting at the diggings, Gritten visited Sydney, arrived in Tasmania in 1856 and spent the next eight years working as a painter and professional photographer in Hobart, Campbell Town and Launceston. His large watercolour of Hobart Town is rare in early Tasmanian colonial art, where watercolours are usually much smaller and not meant to compete with oil paintings. Gritten must have intended this work to equal his oil painting of the same name and view, which hangs in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Gritten moved to Melbourne around 1863, made little impact and returned to Launceston 1873, where he died almost destitute.

Sue Backhouse