- 19th Century
- Gift of the Collins family, 2021
- 232 x 150mm
French artist Charles Meryon was a naval officer aboard the corvette Rhin, which was stationed in Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa the Pacific Ocean between 1843 and 1846. The Rhin was primarily based at Akaroa to oversee French whaling interests and the small French settlement that had been established there in 1840. Meryon made numerous studies of the landscape, local Ngāi Tahu and the fledgling French settlement. Taonga Māori also caught his eye and he drew detailed studies of toi whakairo (carving), including these wonderfully detailed studies of the intricate patterns that adorned the sternpost, prow and other features of waka. It is not known if the waka in these images was drawn in Akaroa or the Bay of Islands where the Rhin also spent time. These three works were copied from Meryon’s originals by his close friend and fellow artist Auguste Delâtre in the 1860s.
(Ship Nails and Tail Feathers, 10 June – 22 October 2023)