Story: Painting

John Gilfillan, 'Native council of war'

John Gilfillan, 'Native council of war'

This oil painting was completed by John Gilfillan in 1853, six years after he had moved to Melbourne following the murder of his wife and four children at Matarawa near Whanganui. It was based on sketches he had made in New Zealand. The painting follows the conventions of European landscape painting of the time – with a dark foreground, a set of layered planes and distant blue mountains that fade into a golden glow. However, the canoes in the foreground and the line of Māori warriors give it an additional exotic and romantic cast.

Using this item

Hocken Library, University of Otago
Oil painting by John Gilfillan

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Painting - Images of Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 May 2022)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014