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Louis John Steele (Artist) Kennett Watkins (Artist)

Arrival of Captain Cook; An incident in the Bay of Islands, 29 November 1769

Arrival of Captain Cook; An incident in the Bay of Islands, 29 November 1769 by Louis John Steele, Kennett Watkins
Arrival of Captain Cook; An incident in the Bay of Islands, 29 November 1769 by Louis John Steele, Kennett Watkins

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The incident referred to in the title involved Māori being fired on and wounded by Cook and his crew. Cook is explaining the difference between bullets used to kill men, and the small shot used to kill birds. Europeans used the small shot to protect themselves without causing the loss of life that had marked earlier encounters with Māori.

The enlightening influence of Europeans is symbolically implied in the painting. Captain Cook stands on the foreshore of the Bay of Islands beach bathed in light, while the Māori chief appears from the shadows of a gnarly pohutukawa. (Picturing History, 2009)

Title
Arrival of Captain Cook; An incident in the Bay of Islands, 29 November 1769
Artist/creator
Production date
1890
Medium
oil on cardboard
Size (h x w)
545 x 421 x 40 mm
Inscription
(verso) Rowney Academy Board (label)
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gifted in memory of Frank Anthony Eden, 1988
Accession no
1988/35/2
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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