Born in England in 1845, John Philemon Backhouse moved to New Zealand by 1865 where he served in the armed constabulary. He painted in the thermal areas of New Zealand and created pencil, wash, and watercolour sketches of the Onehunga area and other parts of Auckland. He became a fulltime artist in the early 1890s and sketched scenes of New Zealand and visited Australia and many of his sketchbooks are in the Turnbull library. He also created studies of birds and insects. He is known for painting on shells and small boards. He died in 1908.
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