HOYTE, J.B.C

Bush Scene, Coromandel

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1868
Watercolour
290 x 420mm

Hoyte lived in New Zealand for eighteen years from 1861–1879. He made his living from teaching art and painting which indicates that by this time there was a market for landscape painting in a country only recently settled by Europeans. Hoyte’s early training was in England where he assimilated notions of the picturesque which were to stand him in good stead for the rest of his career. Many of his paintings are of extended views seen from a high viewpoint from which the background disappears in stages thus giving a sense of spaciousness.

He frequently used jagged landforms to give variety and contrast to otherwise symmetrical compositions. He preferred cool colours though many of his works are distinguished by a tendency to use an intense dark blue for shading, He liked to present nature in its placid moods, hence lake surfaces or foliage are barely ruffled by wind. Hoyte spent five years in the West Indies before coming to New Zealand in 1861. He established a home in Auckland where in 1869 he was appointed drawing master at Auckland College and Grammar School.

That same year he assisted with the planning of the Society of Artists whose first exhibition was held in Auckland Town Hall in March 1871. He frequently sent work to Australian exhibitions and in 1875 he was awarded a silver medal following exhibition of his work in Melbourne. In the early 1870s he moved to Dunedin and in 1879 to Sydney where in 1880 he was elected first president of the art society of New South Wales. He died at Mosman in 1913.