Lindauer goes to California

WAR LEADER: Nineteenth century Czech artist Gottfried Lindauer is renowned for his detailed portraits of Maori figures such as Tamati Waka Nepe. An exhibition called The Maori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand is now on at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. Nepe was among the first to sign the Treaty of Waitangi. He argued that British intervention was necessary for peace and stability, given the lawless Pakeha who were already there, says an online Ministry for Culture and Heritage article.
Picture supplied

NGATI Porou warrior chief Major Ropata Wahawaha, who fought on the Government’s side against Te Kooti, was one of several Maori whose portraits were painted in great detail by Czech artist Gottfried Lindauer.

Painted in highly realistic style the work is representative of the 31 Lindauers Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki helped organise for an exhibition at San Francisco’s de Young Museum.

Called The Maori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand, the 1874-1903 paintings document peacemakers and warriors, politicians and diplomats, tour guides and landholders, entrepreneurs and global traders.

Having begun painting portraits of Maori in Nelson, Lindauer was later commissioned to create a pictorial history of Maori at a time when it was believed Maori were a doomed race and their culture destined for oblivion.

Lindauer painted numerous portraits of eminent Maori, including a c1870 portrait of notable tribal leader Ihaka Whaanga housed at Wairoa Museum, as well as large-scale depictions of re-enactments of traditional Maori life and customs.

During his extensive travels around New Zealand Lindauer spent some time in Napier where he was closely associated with photographer Samuel Carnell, a well-known portraitist of Maori.

In 1866, Lindauer visited Britain for the Colonial and Indian exhibition in London, at which 12 of his Maori portraits were displayed.

Lindauer’s portraits of Maori are as diverse in their subjects as they are in how he depicted them, says Auckland Art Gallery’s Lindauer online page.

“They can be presented full-length, half-length or in bust format for instance; frontal, body in profile or face to the front, as in his many portraits of Ana Rupene and her baby.

“Besides his portraits of eminent Maori, he produced many of little-known or ordinary Maori people, most of whom wear European dress, as would have been the case in their daily life.”

When The Maori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand was held at Auckland Art Gallery earlier this year, gallery director Rhana Devenport said she expected the exhibition to be recorded as one of the gallery’s most memorable.

“If there is one exhibition New Zealanders should visit right now, this is it. It is highly unlikely this many of Lindauer’s portraits will be seen together again in our lifetime.”

San Franciscans now have that opportunity.

NGATI Porou warrior chief Major Ropata Wahawaha, who fought on the Government’s side against Te Kooti, was one of several Maori whose portraits were painted in great detail by Czech artist Gottfried Lindauer.

Painted in highly realistic style the work is representative of the 31 Lindauers Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki helped organise for an exhibition at San Francisco’s de Young Museum.

Called The Maori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand, the 1874-1903 paintings document peacemakers and warriors, politicians and diplomats, tour guides and landholders, entrepreneurs and global traders.

Having begun painting portraits of Maori in Nelson, Lindauer was later commissioned to create a pictorial history of Maori at a time when it was believed Maori were a doomed race and their culture destined for oblivion.

Lindauer painted numerous portraits of eminent Maori, including a c1870 portrait of notable tribal leader Ihaka Whaanga housed at Wairoa Museum, as well as large-scale depictions of re-enactments of traditional Maori life and customs.

During his extensive travels around New Zealand Lindauer spent some time in Napier where he was closely associated with photographer Samuel Carnell, a well-known portraitist of Maori.

In 1866, Lindauer visited Britain for the Colonial and Indian exhibition in London, at which 12 of his Maori portraits were displayed.

Lindauer’s portraits of Maori are as diverse in their subjects as they are in how he depicted them, says Auckland Art Gallery’s Lindauer online page.

“They can be presented full-length, half-length or in bust format for instance; frontal, body in profile or face to the front, as in his many portraits of Ana Rupene and her baby.

“Besides his portraits of eminent Maori, he produced many of little-known or ordinary Maori people, most of whom wear European dress, as would have been the case in their daily life.”

When The Maori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand was held at Auckland Art Gallery earlier this year, gallery director Rhana Devenport said she expected the exhibition to be recorded as one of the gallery’s most memorable.

“If there is one exhibition New Zealanders should visit right now, this is it. It is highly unlikely this many of Lindauer’s portraits will be seen together again in our lifetime.”

San Franciscans now have that opportunity.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you agree with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pushing Australia on sending 150 refugees from Manus Island to New Zealand?