Christopher Aubrey

The only reliable biographical information concerning Christopher Aubrey (1830-1902) is provided by his signed and dated works. Aubrey seems to have painted throughout most of New Zealand. He was staying in Timaru in December 1885, painting alpine scenery (Mt Cook) and was in Oamaru in 1886, holding an art union in Oamaru to sell his paintings some time before September 1886 and another in August or September 1887. He dated works painted in Fiordland, Southland and Otago in 1884-1888, Wellington and the Wairarapa 1888-1891, Wanganui in 1894, as 'Chris Aubrey, painter' in Palmerston North in 1896 according to a newspaper report, Cambridge Waikato, 1897, Karangahape Gorge, Coromandel 1897, Taranaki in the late-1890s and early 1900s, Auckland in the early 1900s. 'The road to Rotoma' dated 1906 sold at John Cordy's auction in 1970. There is some evidence that his first name may have been Charles, rather than Christopher, including information from Robert E Wells (1905-2006), who had one of Aubrey's paintings and could remember from his boyhood that his father talked about his friend the artist, living in Patea, in the early 1900s, calling him "Charlie" Aubrey. However, in a newspaper report based on a Balclutha interview with him, in the Bruce Herald, 26 February 1878, p. 5, he is described as 'Mr Christopher Aubrey'. He exhibited two watercolours at the Melbourne International Exhibition, 1880 'Oyster fisheries', a watercolour and 'Mouth of Wairau' a neutral tint drawing. He was listed as living in Invercargill in the catalogue.

Christopher Aubrey is represented in major collections throughout the country including the Auckland City Art Gallery, and the Turnbull (Wellington) and Hocken (Dunedin) Libraries.