Story: Painting

Augustus Earle's portrait of Rangituke, his wife and son, 1827 (1st of 2)

Augustus Earle's portrait of Rangituke, his wife and son, 1827

Augustus Earle spent nine months in Northland from October 1827. He came after meeting in Sydney the Kawakawa chief Rangituke, pictured here. Earle was sympathetic to Māori and described them as 'cast in beauty's perfect mould'. So when he came to paint the portrait of Rangituke, his wife and son, he did so in a way that would give Europeans a positive impression. Although the figures are dressed in traditional Māori costume their faces have been made to look more classically European.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: G-634
Oil on canvas by Augustus Earle

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:

Jock Phillips, 'Painting - Images of Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/45868/augustus-earles-portrait-of-rangituke-his-wife-and-son-1827 (accessed 16 October 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014