Martens, Conrad, 1801-1878

Alternative names
Birth 1801
Death 1878-08-21

Biographical notes:

Conrad Martens was born in England and arrived in Sydney in 1835. He was the son of J. C. H. Martens, a German Consul for Australia, in London. In 1816 he left England on the ship "Hyacinth" for India. Later he succeeded the artist Augustus Earle on the ship HMS "Beagle" where he met and became a close friend of Charles Darwin who influenced his painting technique. Martens published a set of lithographs titled "Sketches of Sydney" in 1850-1851. He became Parliamentary Librarian in 1836, a post he held until his death.

From the description of Papers [manuscript]. 1862-1867. (Libraries Australia). WorldCat record id: 225842557

Conrad Martens (1801-1878), painter, was born in London on 21 March 1801. He studied landscape painting under Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding, and undertook sketching tours in Kent and Devon. In 1832 he joined Charles Darwin at Montevideo as topographer on HMS Beagle . He left the expedition at Valparaiso in 1834, and travelled via Tahiti and New Zealand to Sydney, where he arrived in April 1835. Martens worked in Sydney as a professional artist, and in 1863 was appointed assistant librarian at the Australian Parliamentary Library. He died in Sydney on 21 August 1878.

From the guide to the Conrad Martens: Sketchbooks on board HMS, Beagle, 1833-1835, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)


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Ark ID:


  • Painting--Technique
  • Art, Colonial
  • Painting, Australian
  • Artist archives
  • Landscape painting--19th century
  • Drawings
  • Painters


  • Artists


  • Australia (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Australia (as recorded)
  • Australia (as recorded)