DE SAINSON, Louis Auguste;

View Taken at the Bay of Islands

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Lithograph on paper
176 x 301mm

Original title: ‘Vue prise a la baie des îles (Nouvelle Zélande)’. Lithographed by Jean-Louis Tirpenne. Figures by Jean-Victor Adam. Plate No. 62 from Jules-Sébastien-César Dumont d’Urville, Voyage de la corvette l’Astrolabe exécuté pendant les années 1826–1827–1828–1829 (Paris: J. Tastu, 1833). Other lithographs from the series can be viewed here.


The following text comes from the catalogue for the exhibition Tirohanga Whānui.

This beautifully composed image was probably drawn from the eastern end of the sandy beach at Pāroa Bay, looking north towards Rangihoua. The Astrolabe is anchored in the wide channel between Paihia and Kororāreka (Russell). On the right two Māori women are collecting firewood.

On entering the Bay of Islands d’Urville was surprised not to be met by waka, Duperrey’s expedition having been so welcomed on a previous visit three years before. He soon realised that he had entered the Bay of Islands at the very time that Ngāpuhi invasions of the Hauraki Gulf were gathering momentum. Those men who might normally have rowed out to greet a visiting ship were now warriors in taua (war parties).

However, the beauty of the Bay of Islands made an strong impression on d’Urville: ‘I gazed admiringly at the superb view of the whole bay, with its ramifications and the many islands which caused Cook to give it its name. As I reflected on the advantages this marvellous harbour can offer to ships, I could not help thinking of the importance it will assume some day when New South Wales has become a powerful state.’

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Exhibition History

Tirohanga Whānui: Views from the Past, Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, 15 April to 15 September 2017