MOFFITT, Ernest (1870-1899)


MOFFITT, Ernest (1870-1899)
artist
was born in Bendigo in 1870. He was educated at All Saints school, St Kilda, Melbourne, and when Marshall Hall (q.v.) opened his conservatorium of music, Moffitt was the first student to enrol. He subsequently became secretary of the conservatorium and for a short period studied art at the national gallery school at Melbourne. He was friendly with a group of the younger artists which included Lionel and Norman Lindsay, did a little painting and etching, but was chiefly remarkable for his beautiful pen drawings. Three of these, reproduced in Lionel Lindsay's A Consideration of the Art of Ernest Moffitt, are especially good, "The Old Well", "Zeehan Wharf", and "A Summer's Day". He also did three drawings for Hall's Hymn to Sydney in which, however, he is not quite at his best. He died in 1899 before he was 30.
Moffitt was a highly cultivated man of much taste and discrimination, fond of pottery and beautiful things of all kinds. He was both musician and artist—as a pen-draughtsman he ranked with the best of his time in Australia, and he exercised a strong influence on the Lindsays and other artists with whom he was associated, by introducing them to classical literature, and by his love of what was best in the art of the past.
L. Lindsay, A Consideration of the Art of Ernest Moffitt; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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