Title: Early New Zealand Botanical Art

Author: F. Bruce Sampson

Publication details: Reed Methuen, 1985, Auckland

Digital publication kindly authorised by: F. Bruce Sampson

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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Early New Zealand Botanical Art

The Resolution's 1774 cruise

The Resolution's 1774 cruise

The summer of 1773-4 was spent in Antarctic regions, with the Resolution reaching further south (71° 10') than any person had been. Then, with Cook himself ill, the Resolution went north and reached Easter Island in March, after nearly five months at sea. J. R. Forster sacrificed his dog to page 41 provide meat and broth for James Cook. On Easter Island William Hodges, R. A. (1744-97), who had been appointed landscape and figure painter on the Resolution, painted his superb oil "Monuments of Easter Island". Murray-Oliver (1969) has described Hodges as "perhaps the most gifted and interesting of Cook's artists" and this painting, like several others by Hodges that are reproduced in Murray-Oliver's book, is, to my mind, quite modern in its style. It has been suggested that George Forster may have received informal tuition from Hodges and that this is reflected in an improvement in Forster's work during the voyage.

The Resolution then sailed to Tonga and the New Hebrides, which were charted in detail. On the way south again to New Zealand, Cook discovered both New Caledonia and Norfolk Island. This was an important cruise, but one in which Johann Forster was, at times, at loggerheads with the officers. On one occasion in the New Hebrides, when he was loudly chastising a native whom he considered had cheated him, Forster ignored Lt. Charles Clerke's command to stop, so Clerke threatened to order a sentry to shoot him.