Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.
John Eyre (Painter)
John Eyre (Painter) a pardoned convict, was an early Australian painter and engraver.
Eyre was born in Coventry, Warwickshire in England. Aged 13 years in 1794, he was apprenticed to his father, a wool-comber and weaver, and became a Coventry freeman in August 1792. On 23 March 1799 he was sentenced to transportation for seven years for housebreaking, and reached Sydney in the transport Canada in December 1801.
Granted a conditional pardon on 4 June 1804, Eyre’s early drawings are dated from around this time. He generally focused on urban landscapes, giving his creative output value not only as works of art but also as historical records. Over the course of Eyre’s artistic career, his work progressed from purely representative topographical depictions, to more artistic compositions with embellishments such as Aboriginal figures and ships at sea. This progression is typical of the developmental pattern of landscape depiction in the early colonial period.
He left the Colony as a free man in 1812; nothing is known of his later life.