Monday, September 8, 2014

View in Pickersgill Harbour, early 1770's

View in Pickersgill Harbour, Dusky Bay, New Zealand, William Hodges, early 1770's, National Maritime Museum.

At first glance, this painting is barely nautical. The lone figure in the center of the piece, dwarfed by the tall trees, seems to be dragged down by his exhaustion. He lacks the round hat, neckcloth, and short jacket of a sailor. The only hint of his occupation is the short hair and the trousers.

The composition of the piece is fascinating. The forest of New Zealand blends into the vessel on the far right, which almost appears to be part of the wilderness.

What we see here is a rare meeting between the genre of maritime art, and the new age of exploration. You may recognize Hodges from previous entries in this blog, and this is a part of the same series: the voyages of Captain Cook.

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