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by Arthur Collingridge

English-born, French-trained newspaper illustrator and painter, Arthur Collingridge worked in Paris and London before moving his family to Sydney in 1877. Taking a job as a staff artist with several local papers, Arthur and his brother George, also an artist, were keen to establish an Australian school of painting.

In June 1880, they called a meeting of leading artists to form the Art Society of NSW, which quickly became the premier art society in Australia. Credited with introducing plein-air (outdoor painting) excursions and life classes to colonial art practice, the society also encouraged self-portraiture as an outlet for personal and introspective artistic expression.