A View in Dusky Bay, New Zealand

William Hodges1773

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

William Hodges painted A View in Dusky Bay, New Zealand from watercolour and pencil studies on his return to England. His approach to the subject of exploration and first encounter follows his classical training. The ‘noble warrior’ in the foreground represents the Māori man Hodges met while at Dusky Bay. A crew member recounted that the man was around 60 years old and stood about six feet tall.

A View in Dusky Bay is considered the earliest oil painting of Māori in the European tradition. It is a romantic view that portrays Dusky Bay as a sublime landscape, laden with drama, where nature is hero. Hodges’s work reveals how explorer art supported Captain James Cook’s voyages, and how the British traditions of landscape painting were taken into the Pacific.

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  • Title: A View in Dusky Bay, New Zealand
  • Creator: William Hodges
  • Date Created: 1773
  • Subject: Dusky Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand, New Zealand
  • Place Part Of: New Zealand
  • Physical Dimensions: w795 x h810 x d64 mm (entire)
  • Artist biography: William Hodges, born in 1744, was 29 years old when he was appointed the official artist for the HMS Resolution, which Captain James Cook sailed to New Zealand on his second voyage to the South Pacific. Most of the large-scale works that Hodges made from his Pacific travels were painted on his return to London. In 1787, he became a member of the Royal Academy and continued to exhibit there until 1794. He died in 1744.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1961, http://www.aucklandartgallery.com/terms-of-use
  • External Link: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
  • Medium: oil on panel

Additional Items

A View in Dusky Bay, New Zealand (Supplemental)


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