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Publisher: SMIRK, R. After
Title: The Cession of Matavai to Captain James Wilson, by Robert Smirke, RA.
Published in: London, January 1st, 1803
   
Size: 22.8 x 29.4 inches.
58.0 x 74.8 cm.
Colouring:

Coloured.
Condition: Mezzotint on thick paper, unfortunately with several areas missing and re-installed. Some tears restored. Missing parts to title in lower part.
Condition Rating

The cession of the district of Matavai in the island of Tahiti to Captain James Wilson for the use of the missionaries. The title is preceded by the phrase "To the Treasurer and Directors of the London Missionary Society, this print representing the Cession..."

A large separately-issued mezzotint by Bartolozzi after the original oil painting by Smirke. The painting was commissioned by the Directors of the London Missionary Society in 1798 to commemorate the grant of land to build a mission in Tahiti.

England was enamored with Omai, the first Polynesian native to visit London, who accompanied Capt. James Cook after his 2nd voyage. He was seen as a living example of the "noble savage".
However, Omai returned to the South Pacific in 1776 without being converted to Christianity, which was seen as a missed opportunity.
To rectify that situation, the London Missionary Society was established, and in 1796, the ship Duff was dispatched with a group of 18 missionaries to Tahiti, under the command of Captain James Wilson.
Wilson is seen in the foreground holding his hat, facing Chief Pomare.
The Queen is held in the air on the shoulders of natives. At least 24 Tahitians & 17 Europeans are pictured on Matavai Bay.
Reference: Nan Kivell & Spence, p. 324



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SMIRK, R. After -  The Cession of Matavai to Captain James Wilson, by Robert Smirke, RA.
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Lot number: 45287

SMIRK, R. After - The Cession of Matavai to Captain James Wilson, by Robert Smirke, RA.
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Price :$ 1,500
Approx. Euro 1,275  

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