Albert Namatjira was an Australian painter who was famous for the way he painted the Australian bush. He was raised away from his family in a mission, where he grew up in a western way. He would sneak out of the mission and go exploring in the Australian bush. He stayed for months in the bush, where there was a lot of greenery and hills. This made him more interested in art, and in his free time, he drew the beauty of the bush as a whole. When stalwart painters showed their work at the mission, he learned about the western style of painting. Later, when one of the painters, Rex Battarbee, wanted to paint in the bush, Albert went with him and showed him around. This trip was good for him because Rex taught him how to use watercolors. Because Albert liked to paint and because he was close to the bush, he became an excellent painter quickly and filled the canvas with beautiful landscapes. He made paintings that were full of tiny details. Even the twigs on the trees were carved perfectly. He made the huge mountains in the background stand out by putting them next to the beautiful grasslands, trees, and flowers. Critics and people who saw his paintings both liked them a lot.
Early years and childhood
He was born on July 28, 1902, in the Australian town of Hermannsburg Lutheran Mission. His name was Elea. But when his parents became Christians, his father was renamed Jonathan and his mother was renamed Emilie, and he was given the name Albert.
He spent the first part of his life at the mission, where he learned how to work with leather, wood, iron, and saddles. According to the rules of the mission, he lived in the mission, away from his parents.
At the start of his teenage years, he left the mission and went to the Australian grasslands, also called the bush, where he joined the Arrernte community. The scenery of the bush had a big effect on him, which can be seen in his later art.
After they got married, he didn’t go back to the mission. Instead, he worked at a cattle station, where he did many different jobs.
He moved back to the mission with his family. In 1934, the mission held an art show, where he saw paintings made in the western style.
In 1936, Rex Battarbee, one of the artists whose work was on display at the mission, went back to the bush to paint a picture of it. Albert helped the artist with this project, and Rex taught him how to use watercolors in return. Namatjira learned how to paint quickly and was good at it right away.
Albert Namatjira’s Career
He started painting landscapes on canvas that were very detailed and showed the Australian bush. These paintings became very popular in Europe because they were based on western art.
In 1938, his first show was set up in Melbourne. After that, he had art shows in Adelaide and Sydney, which made him known as an artist and made him very successful. He started his career as a painter and made pieces of art that sold quickly.
He made paintings like “Central Australian Landscape,” “Ajantzi Waterhole,” and “Red Bluff” in the 1930s.
In his “Ghost Gum Glen Helen” series of paintings from the next 10 years, he showed the Australian evergreen tree called “ghost gum” (c.1945-49). He knew how to draw trees with a lot of detail. His name and fame spread far and wide because of all these paintings, and his art even made him rich.
With each painting, he got better at his job and became a better artist. Many people thought his painting “Mt. Hermannburg” was as clear as a picture taken with a camera. This skilled artist died two years after painting this picture.
Works of note
He was a painter who paid attention to detail, and the Australian landscapes he painted looked just as lively as they do in real life. Some of his most famous paintings, like “Central Australia Landscape,” “Red Bluff,” and “Central Australian George,” show the different trees and mountains in the Australian bush and how they stand out against each other.
Awards & Achievements
Queen Elizabeth II was a fan of his creative art. In 1953, he was given the “Queen’s Coronation Medal,” and the next year, he was able to meet the queen in Canberra, the capital city.
Personal History and Legacies
He would often leave the mission to go on his journey into the bush. During these trips, he also met his future wife, Ilkalita, who was not from his tribe. Because of this, the tribes wouldn’t let them get married.
He ran away with Ilkalita and married her when he was 18 years old, in 1920. After a few years, he went back to the mission with his wife and children. His wife was baptized and given the name Rubina, and their marriage was then recognized. Oscar, Enos, and Maisie were also the names of his children.
He made a lot of money, so he had to take care of many poor people from his tribe.
He had a heart attack and was taken to one of the “Alice Springs” hospitals. On August 8, 1959, he died there.
Estimated Net worth
Albert is one of the wealthiest painters and is on the list of the most well-known painters. Based on what we found on Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Albert Namatjira has a net worth of about $1.5 million.
This great painter made it into the “Who’s Who in Australia” book with his beautiful works.