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A view of Moorea
London,: Thomas Martyn,, 1787.. Uncoloured aquatint, 490 x 690 mm.; mounted. An unusual uncoloured version of the famous aquatint by James Cleveley, one of the four remarkable views of the Pacific done after the Cook voyages. The Cleveley aquatints were issued in various different states; one version, for example, had the printed lines appearing as faintly as possible, so that when the prints were coloured by hand they had the appearance of original watercolours. This uncoloured version is interesting for the amount of detail that appears in the actual printing of the plate, and has no subsequent hand-finishing.The original sketches on which this and Cleveley's other three views were based were, according to the prospectus issued for the prints, "drawn on the spot" by James Cleveley, the carpenter on board the ship Resolution. When the expedition returned to England in October 1780 his brother John, a professional draughtsman, worked up the sketches into finished watercolours. The final works portray the Pacific Islands and their inhabitants in a picturesque and idealised manner, which perhaps has more to do with conforming to European notions of a Pacific Arcadia than specific representations of the islands as they were. The resultant images, though perhaps not an exact record of the expedition, do convey a wonderful sense of excitement of these early points of contact between European explorers and Pacific islanders.This view of Moorea is incorrectly titled "one of the Friendly Islands", when it is in fact part of the Society Islands, with Morea just to the north-west of Tahiti.Nan Kivell and Spence, p. 68.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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