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Lot number: 26401
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Estimate: $ 360 - 450
Starting bid$ 240 
Approx. Euro 206 - other currencies

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Publisher: VIERO, Theodorum.
Title: Potatow Capo dei Tahiti Isola nel Mare Pacifico del Sud. / Potatow Chef de Tahiti Isle dans la Mer Pacifique du Sud.
Published: Venice, Antonio Zatta, c.1790

Size: 10.0 x 6.7 inches.
25.5 x 17.0 cm.
Colouring: Uncoloured.
Condition:  With some foxing in the right margin. Good impression. Else good condition.
 Condition Rating

Full portrait of the Hawaiian chief Potatow.
A rare engraving from "Raccolata di stampe ... di varie nazioni". From the original drawing by William Hodges, who accompanied Cook. By Teodoro Viero (1740 - 1819), engraver and publisher in Venice.
A rare engraving from "Raccolata di stampe ... di varie nazioni". From the original drawing by William Hodges, who accompanied Cook. By Teodoro Viero (1740 - 1819), engraver and publisher in Venice.
From a series of historically significant eighteenth-century copper plate engravings by Venetian engraver Theodoro Viero (1740-1819). Dating from 1783-90, the engraved print on laid paper is among the earliest European representations of indigenous Pacific peoples, and depict inhabitants of New Zealand, Tahiti, the Marquesas, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Tierra del Fuego.
Born in Bassano, Italy, Theodoro Viero studied under Venetian engraver Niccolò Cavalli, before settling in Venice and establishing his business as a miniaturist, burin engraver and print publisher. While publishing a large number of plates by other printmakers, his own output included reproductions of works by Venetian masters including Canaletto, Tiepolo and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
Published just a few years after Captain James Cook's voyages to the South Seas, Viero's prints owe much to William Hodges, the artist aboard Cook's second Pacific voyage of 1772-75, and the engraved versions of Hodges' drawings published in 1777 in Cook's "A Voyage towards the South Pole, and Round the World. . . ". However, while Hodges' figures were mostly head and shoulder studies, Viero fleshed out this source material to create standing or seated semi-classical figures, posed within a variety of Arcadian settings.
Faces and costume details of Viero's figures, together with details of their settings, link directly to those in the Cook voyage illustrations.
Produced during the last days of the 1100-year-old independent Venetian Republic (before being conquered by Napoleon in 1797), the presence in this folio of images of the Doge and Dogaressa suggests that "Raccolta di ? stampe" was at least a partial tribute to Venice's rulers, at that time still living symbols of Venetian power and wealth, their palazzo filled with treasures from the farthest corners of the globe.



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