John Webber (After), William Byrne (Engraver)

A View at Anamooka

A View at Anamooka by John Webber, William Byrne

Artwork Detail

When Cook’s ships arrived at Nomuka in Tonga a camp was set up on the shore of the harbour where Cook had previously anchored on his second voyage in June 1774. Here they replenished their supplies of food and water, battering with residents and making repairs to the ship. These activities are captured in this lively scene in which the sailors mingle with the inhabitants, and both European and indigenous craft are seen on the shoreline.

Joppien and Smith note that while maintenance of the ships, their supplies and crew were a typical part of each of Cook’s voyages, Webber was the first artist to pay any attention to the depiction of these activities. They write: “Not only at Tonga, but at all major ports of call…Webber observed similar scenes, vignettes of daily life…. By [recording] them ,Webber reflected the expedition as a history-making event in itself…. Webber’s tendency to demonstrate the complexity of action is historical in an eventful and documentary sense but it is also anti-heroic.”

(See J&S Vol. III, Text pp.28-9, Cat. 3.38-3.39A)

A View at Anamooka
John Webber, William Byrne
Production date
engraving on paper
267 x 508 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2007
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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