Story: City images

Wellington, 1841 (1st of 3)

Wellington, 1841

The first paintings of towns were topographical depictions by surveyors and amateur artists who accompanied colonising companies. An aim of such works was to encourage further emigration, so artists often made scenes appear more English and thus more attractive. This painting of the settlement of Wellington in 1841 was by the New Zealand Company surveyor Charles Heaphy. The large number of ships suggests a bustling settlement, while the rounded hills are evocative of the Kentish Downs.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: C-025-009
Watercolour by Charles Heaphy

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'City images - The city in art', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 January 2022)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 11 Mar 2010