Charles Furneaux (1835 - 1913) was born in Boston and became a drawing instructor in that area. For many years he lived in the town of Melrose, Massachusetts. In 1880, Furneaux moved to Hawaii, where he cultivated the friendship King Kalakaua and other members of the Hawaiian royal family, from whom he later received several commissions. In the late 1880's,he was commissioned in Honolulu by Alexander Joy Cartwright, widely credited as the "father of baseball" and another dear friend of King Kalakaua, to paint the only oil portrait of his 72 year life. While living in Honolulu he taught at the private schools Punahou and St. Albans (now known as Iolani School). In 1885, he received the order of Chevalier of Kapiolani from King Kalakaua in 'recognition of his services in advancing Hawaiian art'. He died in Hawaii in 1913.
His reputation is mainly based on the paintings he executed in Hawaii, especially those of erupting volcanoes. The Bishop Museum (Honolulu), the Brooklyn Museum, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Iolani Palace (Honolulu) and Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (South Hadley, Massachusetts) are among the public collections holding works by Charles Furneaux.
The Hancock House, oil painting by Charles Furneaux The Hancock House, oil painting by Charles Furneaux