Sam Stuart (Artist) G C Beale (After)

Fort Britomart

Fort Britomart by Sam Stuart, G C Beale

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Almost certainly based on a composition by an earlier artist, Sam Stuart's painting shows the army barracks, which in the initial days of Auckland's settlement was located on Point Britomart. This prominent headland was cut completely away in the late nineteenth century in order to reclaim land from the harbour. Naval and government vessels were generally anchored off the point and those depicted in this work are identified on the verso of the canvas as HMS Blanche, Challenger, Virago and Charybdis, the ships of the flying squadron. Beyond them are North Head and Rangitoto. The presence of the ships in the harbour marks the royal visit of Prince Albert, the Duke of Edinburgh, whose visit to Auckland in 1869 probably occasioned the original image from which Stuart developed his painting. An active participant in the Auckland art scene from the late 1870s until his death in 1920, Stuart specialised in re-creations in oil paint of photographs, sketches and etchings of the city of Auckland in the colonial era. The monochromatic nature of his pictorial sources explains the unusual grisaille technique employed here, which accentuates the artist's naïve simplicity of style, a constant aspect of his work despite his considerable output over a long period. (from The Guide, 2001)

Title
Fort Britomart
Artist/creator
Production date
1869
Medium
oil on canvas
Size (h x w)
490 x 798 mm
Inscription
(reverse) Fort Britomart 1869. HMS Blanche, Challenger, Virago, Charybdia. Pres Mr T.W. Leys Acc no 152.
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Dr Thomson W Leys, 1915
Accession no
1915/10
Other ID
OCM0152 Old Accession Number
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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