Story: Painting

Gottfried Lindauer

This short film clip from a 1976 National Film Unit documentary about painter Gottfried Lindauer shows the eight portraits of Māori that Walter Buller exhibited at the 1886 Industrial Exhibition in Wellington. The first portrait shown is of Heeni Hirini and a child (previously known as 'Ana Rupene and child'), which became his most famous image. It was so popular that Lindauer completed at least 30 versions. As the clip suggests, Lindauer often worked from photographs of the subject. In this case, although Lindauer had reportedly met Hirini outside a pub in Thames in 1878, he based his portrait upon a photograph of her taken by the Foy brothers at Thames and reproduced as a carte de visite (small photograph on card). Lindauer's patron, Henry Partridge, also had a Thames connection – he had operated a gold-mining business there before moving to Auckland. Despite the popularity of Lindauer's portraits of Māori, he actually completed more portraits of Pākehā.

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TVNZ Television New Zealand
Reference: Gottfried Lindauer in New Zealand. National Film Unit, 1976

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Painting - Images of Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 October 2021)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014