White Terraces, Rotomahana

Charles Blomfield1897

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Charles Blomfield is known for his many images of the Pink and White Terraces. They number in the hundreds. Despite the Terraces’ destruction by the eruption of Mount Tarawera in June 1886, he continued painting this subject until his death in 1926. Blomfield first visited the area in 1875, and returned several times, camping there for six weeks with his eight-year-old daughter Mary over the summer of 1884–5.

Dubbed the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, the Terraces were a famous tourist attraction. In Blomfield’s White Terraces, Rotomahana, they are shown at their most pristine, unsullied by tourist activity. Steam rises from the basin and the ominous grey clouds seem to hint at the Terraces’ fate.

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  • Title: White Terraces, Rotomahana
  • Creator: Charles Blomfield
  • Date Created: 1897
  • Subject: Lake Rotomahana/Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
  • Place Part Of: New Zealand
  • Physical Dimensions: w1483 x h868 x d60 mm (Without frame)
  • Artist biography: Charles Blomfield was born in London 1848 and moved to New Zealand with his mother and siblings. He was a prolific, self-taught painter of many subjects. Blomfield travelled extensively throughout New Zealand, going to Lake Wakatipu and the West Coast of the South Island, making iconic and intimate views of the country. He was a passionate advocate for the conservation of native bush and was grateful that, having arrived from England in 1863, he saw the country ‘before the hand of man had spoiled most of its natural beauty’. He died in 1926.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr D L Murdoch, http://www.aucklandartgallery.com/terms-of-use
  • External Link: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
  • Medium: oil on canvas


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