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View of Huaheine one of the Society Islands in the South Seas
London,: Thomas Martyn,, 1787.. Coloured aquatint, 357 x 525 mm., title supplied in calligraphy; mounted and framed; some general ageing but very good. An attractive example of the famous aquatint by John Cleveley, one of the four remarkable views of the Pacific done after the Cook voyages. Huaheine, one of the Tahitian Islands, was of special interest to Cook, as it was here that he decided to leave Omai. 'Cook negotiated with the chieftains of the island for a suitable piece of land... a garden was laid out, on which Cook tells us "Shaddocks, Vines, Pineapples, Millons and several other articles" were planted "all of which were in a flourishing state before we left the island"...' (Joppien & Smith).Omai's house can be seen in the foreground of this superb aquatint, under construction. 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 ship's carpenter on board Resolution. When the expedition returned to England in October 1780 his brother James, 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 may have had more to do with conforming to European notions of a Pacific Arcadia than with providing specific representations of the islands as they were. The Resolution and Discovery are shown riding at anchor, and the crew can be seen setting out in long-boats accompanied by traditional Tahitian craft - the artist depicts a moment of great serenity and beauty.Nan Kivell and Spence, p. 68.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    


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