Nicholas Matthew CONDY

1816—1851

The son of a painter, Nicholas CONDY, Nicholas was educated in Exeter at Mount Radford School, going on to be a pupil of the Reverend C Thomas. Despite displaying an early talent for painting, young Nicholas was intended for a career in the military. However, he rejected this in favour of professional marine painting.  Encouragingly, his work had attracted the early admiration of the Earl of Egremont, JMW TURNER's patron.

With a sending-in address of Plymouth, the artist participated as a 'Professional Artist' in the Cornwall Polytechnic Society's Annual Exhibition in 1834 (RCPS that year). His oil painting Marine Views won the First Prize (Silver Medal) that year. Again in 1841 he was awarded the First Prize in oils at the RCPS.

Although he exhibited at the RA in London between 1842 and 1845 (three sea pieces), Condy remained in Plymouth. He became an established and successful artist associated above all with seascapes and marine scenes. His work features the local Devon countryside, such as Ships off Devonport and The Post Office Packet Shelldrake off Falmouth (both in the National Maritime Museum, London). His proximity from early childhood to the port and shipping of Plymouth afforded him detailed and accurate knowledge of rigging, which was much admired in his work.  Wood comments that his RA exhibits showed promise of his becoming a distinguished artist, but that he had died prematurely.