c.1955, 595 x 740mm, Oil on board
Peter McIntyre was educated at Otago Boys’ High School and Otago University where he studied journalism. From 1931 to 1934, he attended the Slade School of Fine Art in London. During this time, he also worked as a book illustrator and painted sets at the Sadler’s Wells and the Coliseum. In 1939, he was one of 150 New Zealanders who volunteered to serve in a battery for antitank training. His talent as an artist caught the attention of General Bernard Freyberg. He advanced McIntyre’s rank and appointed him an official war artist, without consulting the Prime Minister, Peter Fraser, who had someone else in mind.
During the war, McIntyre’s work was widely exhibited in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Egypt, and reproduced in magazines such as the Illustrated London News, Parade, Studio, and the New Zealand Listener. Returning to Aotearoa after the war with an established reputation, he was in immediate demand as a portrait painter. In the following years, he made his living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara primarily as a landscape artist. He published several books that topped bestseller lists, including The Painted Years (1962), Peter McIntyre’s New Zealand (1964), and Peter McIntyre’s Pacific (1966). He was a frequent entrant in the Kelliher Art Award for landscape painting, winning first prize in 1959 and third prizes in 1957 and 1960.
A more extensive biography is available on Te Ara The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.