Watercolour on paper
17 x 25 cm
Provenance: Private collection, NSW
Arthur Esam was 20 years old when he arrived in Australia from England in 1870. His spontaneous sketches and paintings of life in the outback, while working as a drover and surveyor, have left us a detailed pictorial history covering some 30 years, and clearly show his strong love for his adopted country.
In 1878 -1884, Esam worked for the Lands Department of South Australia as a surveyor. During this time, he also supplied sketches to periodicals including Sydney Mail, Frearson’s Weekly, the Adelaide Punch and the Australasian Sketcher and in 1881 collaborated with artist, Herbert Woodhouse in illustrating a lighthearted story of travel in outback South Australia.
In 1887, Esam married in London and moved to Melbourne. By 1893, due to hardship, he had taken a position at a brewery in Coolgardie, WA. In 1895 he joined the staff of the Kalgoorlie Miner and returned to Melbourne in 1907. Refer Arthur Esam: The drover who painted the outback by Heather Ronald, Australian Heritage, Summer 2006, pages 79 - 82