Story: Ideas about Māori origins

Portrait of Natai, 1833 (2nd of 3)

Portrait of Natai, 1833

This handsome profile, the bouffant hairstyle recalling Napoleon, is regarded by art historians as an outstanding example of the European concept of the ‘noble savage’. In the romantic period, indigenous peoples who lived close to nature were seen as living a truer life than convention-bound Europeans. This lithograph is based on a sketch by the French artist Louis Auguste de Sainson.

Using this item

Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki
Lithograph after a drawing by Louis Auguste de Sainson

Permission of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

K. R. Howe, 'Ideas about Māori origins - 1770s–1840s: early ideas', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 June 2022)

Story by K. R. Howe, published 8 Feb 2005