28 Gottfried Lindauer (1839-1926) Hamiora Maioha oil on canvas signed ‘G. Lindauer’ (lower left) 60 x 50cm $65,000 - 85,000 PROVENANCE Purchased by the vendor’s father, McKearneys, Hastings 1974 Private collection, Hawkes Bay
Gottfried Lindauer (1839-1926), along with Charles F Goldie was New Zealand’s best known painter of Maori subjects in the late nineteenthearly twentieth centuries. Bohemian by birth, Lindauer trained as an artist at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, where he established a successful career as a portrait painter. Emigrating to New Zealand in 1874, Lindauer initially settled in Nelson. A move to Auckland in the mid 1870s however proved crucial. It was there he met prominent businessman and collector Henry Partridge (1848-1931), who was to become his lifelong patron. Partridge commissioned Lindauer to depict numerous portraits of eminent Maori, both living and deceased, as well as large-scale depictions of re-enactments of traditional Maori life and customs over a period of 30 years. Partridge’s aim was to create a pictorial history of Maori at a time when it was widely believed that Maori were dying literally and as a distinct cultural group. The interpretation of Lindauer’s portraits has varied enormously, depending on the viewers socio-cultural contexts. For many colonial Europeans the portraits represented a supposed vanishing Maori culture, as well as being important ethnographic documents providing a valuable record of Maori physiognomy, moko, dress and arefacts. For many Maori, especially the families and descendants of those portrayed, his portraiture was interpreted in an entirely different light. They were viewed and still are to this day, as embodiments of the presence, spirit and mana of the subject, a link between the past and present, and as taonga that need to be protected. As such Lindauer was held in extremely high regard within the Maori community and his mutual respect can be seen in his sensitive handling of his Maori subjects. It is also suggestive of the sympathy and empathy that he as an outsider, a Czech artist in a predominantly Anglo European population understood. The present work is most likely a private commission for the sitters family. Although the identity of the sitter is not recorded, the work is entitled Hamiora Maioha. It is most likely a depiction of either Hamiora Wiremu Maioha (1888 - 1963) of Ngai Tawake hapu of Nga Puhi, resident of the Bay of Islands or Hamiora Te Maioha (1864 - 1929) born Waimate North, Northland, New Zealand on 25 Jan 1864 to Hoani Maioha and Margaret Makere Farley.
DUNBAR SLOANE WELLINGTON
Dunbar Sloane Wellington New Zealand and International Fine Art, Part One