Charles Goldie New Zeland
10-20-1870 Auckland, NZL– 7-11-1947 Auckland, NZLBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Charles Goldie went to Paris to study at the famous Académie Julian. This was a conservative institution, resistant to Impressionism and the avant-garde, and Goldie received a strong grounding in traditional, formal drawing and painting.
He returned to New Zealand in 1898 and established the "French Academy of Art" with Louis J. Steele, who had been his tutor prior to his departure. They collaborated on the large painting The Arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand, based on Géricault's Raft of the Medusa.
From 1901 he made field trips to meet, sketch and photograph Maori people in their own locations, and he also paid Maori visitors to Auckland to sit for him.
Charles Goldie's later work was largely from photographs, as his elderly models had died. Rumors that the paintings were produced with the help of a mechanical projection system are not borne out by a comparison of the photographs with the paintings.
Goldie's health eventually deteriorated through a combination of lead poisoning (from the lead white used to prepare his canvases) and alcoholism. He produced little work in the 1920s. Encouraged by the governor general, Lord Bledisloe, Charles Goldie resumed painting around 1930; in 1934 and 1935 he exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and in 1935, 1938 and 1939; the Salon of the Société des Artistes Français.
Charles Goldie's work has been criticized as "racist" and certainly he held the Victorian attitudes he had grown up with that the Maori were a "dying race" and in many ways inferior to Europeans. On 19 November 2010 opera diva Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sold the oil on canvas Forty Winks, a portrait of Rutene Te Uamairangi for $573,000. This is the most paid for a painting at auction in New Zealand.
The convicted art forger Karl Sim changed his name legally to Carl Feodor Goldie in the 1980s in order to be able to "legitimately" sign his Goldie copies "C.F. Goldie". He no longer tries to pass them off as by the original C.F. Goldie, however. He published an autobiography with Tim Wilson in 2003 called Good as Goldie.
Influences: Louis John Steele
Traveled: France, Australia, England, France