Admiral Sir Charles Madden (1906-2001)
`The Rangitikei River` 1953
A spectacular view of the Rangitikei river gorge in the North island of new Zealand by Sir Charles Madden, painted during the time he was appointed Chief of Naval Staff and First Naval Member of the New Zealand Navy Board, with the rank of Commodore in 1953. He and lady madden loved new Zealand and were very popular there during his appointment. Sir Charles Madden was an impressive person, able to maintain a spectacular career in the Royal navy and still find time to paint - I suppose like Winston Churchill it was a welcome relief from the pressures of high office. An attractive image in pen and watercolour with a delightful light touch typical of the postwar period, showing the influence of contemporary British artists John Piper and Paul Nash,etc. whose style had become a major influence due to their WW2 art. I`ve come across an image from almost the same spot which I`ve included. The painting is housed in its original frame and has a Wellington framers label verso.
A stylish painting with an interesting historical background.
Admiral Sir Charles Madden (1906-2001)
Admiral Sir Charles Madden, 2nd Baronet was Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet from 1963 until 1965.
Although he reached high rank, as a boy he had not wanted to join the Navy, favouring a career as a painter. But, as the son of a First Sea Lord who had been Jellicoe's Chief-of-Staff at Jutland, it was almost inevitable he would follow his father into the service. He first made his mark as a busy Executive Officer in the battleship Warspite, which he joined at Alexandria in May 1940. He served with great distinction in many of the sea engagements of the Second World War, and had his share of `near misses` - a cancelled promotion to chief gunnery officer of HMS.Hood probably saved his life. In 1953, Madden was appointed Chief of Naval Staff and First Naval Member of the New Zealand Navy Board, with the rank of Commodore. He was much involved in building up the strength of the New Zealand Navy, which had only been an independent service a few years. He and Lady Madden were very popular in New Zealand, and Madden even had a previously uncharted submerged volcano named after him. Madden was promoted Rear Admiral in 1955 and appointed Deputy to the Second Sea Lord.
In all his high appointments, with a multitude of responsibilities and duties, Charles Madden always kept up his painting, and his interest in his family's history. As C-in-C Plymouth from 1960 to 1962 he regularly exhibited with the Plymouth Art Club.
He became C-in-C Home Fleet in 1963, his last appointment before he retired in 1965. He painted and exhibited regularly up until his death.
The Rangitikei River is one of the longest and most spectacular in the North island, famous for its deep gorges and spectacular cliffs, nowadays a great centre of white water rafting and water sports.



Mediumwatercolour  Conditionexcellent unfaded
 Image size17 x 12 inches   Provenancesigned bottom right, exhibition labels verso
 Overall size25 x 20 inches 
Age1953 Price £225