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.