Australian Painter , 1793-1838
Nephew of Ralph Earl. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in London between 1806 and 1815, when he began travelling. He visited the Mediterranean between 1815 and 1817, and lived in North America (1818-20) and South America (1820-24). In February 1824, en route to India, he was accidentally abandoned on Tristan da Cunha for eight months. The passing ship that rescued him took him to Australia. Here he lived from 1825 until 1828, a period broken by a seven-month residence in New Zealand. During all of his voyages he made watercolour sketches, particularly of places 'hitherto unvisited by any artist', apparently with the intention of publishing a series of aquatints. These drawings, such as a Bivouac, Daybreak, on the Illawarra Mountains (1827; Canberra, N. Lib.), have a robust autobiographical quality. In Sydney he obtained a number of commissions, including a full-length portrait of Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane (1825-6; Sydney, Govt House). Earle returned to England in 1829 and produced a series of prints, Views in New South Wales, and Van Diemen's Land.