Visitors to the King.
PACIFIC VOYAGES ; TEWFIK Mark &; BARNES Esther (2015.)
Giclée print on 310gsm acid free paper. Measuring 594 by 841 mm. Edition of 10 (8 for sale) signed by the artists. London, Lanterne Rouge Press, 1 February,
The late eighteen and early nineteenth centuries witnessed the expansion of European empires across the Pacific Ocean. News of the places discovered and the people encountered was received with enthusiasm and before long actual people were brought back and shown before an incredulous British public. Notices appeared in the press, eminent artists such as William Hodges, John Hayter, and John William Gear painted their portraits and in many instances they would meet the King.
Yet amid the fanfare lay tragedy. Unequipped for the Old World, many of the men and women brought back to England succumbed to diseases unknown in Tahiti, Hawaii and elsewhere. Prince Lee Boo, of Pelew Island, succumbed to smallpox. The King and Queen of Hawaii perished from measles six days apart. Others found themselves caught unhappily between two worlds on their return. Bennelong returned to Sydney and served as an advisor to Governor Hunter. Omai settled on Huahine in 1776. News of his death was received by William Bligh in 1789. This image is a tribute to them and an homage to the original portraits painted.
Stock Code: 225528