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Learn More about Thomas Baines

Thomas Baines was born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk in November of 1820. Early on, he was an apprentice to a coach painter at the age of 22. When he first arrived in Cape Town, he worked as a scenic and portrait artist. He also worked as an official war artist during what is known as the “Eighth Frontier War” for the British Army.

Later he would join an expedition to northern Australia as an official artist and storekeeper. He was highly commended for the work he did during this time.

A few years after the expedition in Australia, Baines would join yet another expedition, this time to South West Africa where both paintings and photography would be used for the first time. Baines would go on to explore for gold in between the Gweru and Hunyani rivers. He died in Durban in 1875.

He is known mostly for his paintings and sketches that give insight into colonial life in southern Africa and Australia.