Gottfried Lindauer

Gottfried Lindauer, “Kamariera Te Hau Takiri Wharepapa”, 1895, Oil on Canvas, 83 x 71.7 cm, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

Gottfried Lindauer, a portrait artist, was born in Pilsen, Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire,  who relocated to New Zealand. Lindauer’s portraits of Māori are diverse in their subjects and in how he depicted them. They can be presented full-length, half-length or in bust format for instance; frontal, body in profile or face to the front, as in his many portraits of Ana Rupene and her baby. Besides his portraits of eminent Māori, Lindauer produced many of little-known or ordinary Māori people, most of whom wear European dress, as would have been the case in their daily life.

Kamariera Wharepapa, born in 1823, was one of fourteen Māori who travelled to England aboard the ship Ida Ziegler under the sponsorship of Wesleyan missionary William Jenkins. While in England he was presented to Queen Victoria and married Elizabeth Reid, an English housemaid. The first of their five daughters was born on the return journey to New Zealand and the family settled in Maungakahia. There, in 1864, Elizabeth helped her husband lobby for a school, which was eventually built. Wharepapa died in 1920 at his birthplace Mangakahia.