This watercolour The Terraces, Rotomahana painted in 1881 by Henry Grant Lloyd is a rare pre-eruption depiction of The Pink and White Terraces.
The Pink and White Terraces, located on the edge of Lake Rotomahana were a major Victorian tourist attraction, considered the 8th Wonder of the World and the largest deposit of silica sinter known to man. In 1886, the Pink and White Terraces were destroyed by the eruption of Mt Tarawera. The volcanic eruption killed at least 150 people and dramatically changed the surrounding landscape, creating the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley and increasing the size of Lake Rotomahana.
Henry Grant Lloyd (1830-1904)
Henry Grant Lloyd was born on 6 January 1830 at Chester, England. He was the son of Lieutenant Henry Lloyd, Bengal Native Infantry, and his wife Charlotte, née Williams. His father retired to Van Diemen’s Land, Tasmania, in 1840 and bought land at New Norfolk, which he named Bryn Estyn after the family home in Wales.
By 1846 Henry Grant Lloyd had travelled to Tasmania, where he became a divinity student at Christ’s College, Bishopsbourne, Tasmania, but in 1851 Bishop Nixon decided that he was not suitable to be ordinand.
Between 1846-57 Lloyd sketched in Tasmania, and by 1858 was painting in New South Wales. He was influenced by Conrad Martens (British 1801 – 1878) and was probably one of his pupils. Lloyd painted sporadically in Martens’s style until the 1870s but could not subdue his own spontaneous vision. In artistic style and temperament he was perhaps closer to Samuel Elyard (Australian 1817-1910) than to the accomplished Martens. Lloyd may also have been influenced by John Skinner Prout (British 1805–1876).
Lloyd travelled and sketched widely in Australia, and then New Zealand. He was meticulous in giving each work a date and title; many even have compass directions. Lloyd spent time in New South Wales and Queensland until 1864, Tasmania from 1872-75 and New South Wales from 1875-80.
He visited Britain in the 1870s, later returning to New Zealand and exhibiting Welsh sketches in Dunedin. He lived in Dunedin from 1881-99 and was a member of the Otago Art Society. In 1881 he visited Auckland. Watercolours produced during this time Looking down from a high point with Cheltenham Beach on the left, and Flagstaff Hill to the right, inscribed and dated Feb. 11th 1881 are held in the collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library.
In 1900 he returned to Tasmania, where he lived for 4 years until his death at New Norfolk on 31 May 1904.
Henry Grant Lloyd’s work is also held in the Fletcher Trust Collection. Some 1500 of Lloyd’s sketches are in the Mitchell and Dixson Libraries, Sydney, and a collection of his work is in the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Hobart.