Henry Grant Lloyd

Born: 1830

Died: 1904

Henry Grant Lloyd, artist, was born on 6 January 1830 at Chester, England, son of Lieutenant Henry Lloyd, Bengal Native Infantry, and his wife Charlotte, née Williams. His father retired to Van Diemen’s Land in 1840 and bought land at New Norfolk, which he named Bryn Estyn after the family home in Wales. Henry Grant became a divinity student at Christ’s College, Bishopsbourne, Tasmania, but in 1851 Bishop Nixon decided that he was not a suitable ordinand.

In 1846-57 Lloyd sketched in Tasmania and by 1858 was painting in New South Wales. He was influenced by Conrad Martens and was probably one of his pupils. Lloyd painted sporadically in Martens’s style until the 1870s but could not subdue his own spontaneous vision. In artistic style and temperament he was perhaps closer to Samuel Elyard than to the accomplished Martens. Lloyd may also have been influenced by J. S. Prout.
Much of Lloyd’s early work is hasty and crude, with heavy over-painting and rather unpleasant colouring. In later years he sometimes used larger areas of clear wash, pale and delicate in tone, which with the white of the paper helped to achieve an air of simplicity and serenity. He also painted landscapes and rocks in deliberate contour patterns with stronger colours, but his figures and buildings are generally poor. Many of his sketches are landscapes, a number of which are of historical interest and include his lithograph ‘Hobart Town from the New Wharf’ about 1857 and his view of the Canberra plains in 1862. He was usually meticulous in giving each work a date and title; many even have compass directions.

He travelled and sketched widely in New South Wales and Queensland until 1864, Tasmania in 1872-75 and New South Wales in 1875-80. He had probably visited Britain in the 1870s for he exhibited Welsh sketches in Dunedin where he lived in 1881-99 and was a member of the Otago Art Society; he visited Australia in 1887-88. In 1900 he settled in Tasmania and died at New Norfolk on 31 May 1904.

Some 1500 of Lloyd’s sketches are in the Mitchell and Dixson Libraries, Sydney, and a collection of his work is in the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Hobart.

Extract taken from Australian Dictionary of Biography.