Wellington Harbour by Charles Heaphy

Wellington Harbour by Charles Heaphy

View of a part of the town of Wellington, New Zealand, looking towards the south east, comprising about one-third of the water-frontage [drawn] in September 1841 by C. Heaphy, Draftsman to the New Zealand Company.

Charles Heaphy (1820–81) arrived in New Zealand, aged 19, in August 1839. He was employed as an artist and draughtsman by the New Zealand Company. His watercolours of Wellington show the town developing along the foreshore and the ships that provided ready access to the settlement.

The New Zealand Company helped settle the country by acquiring land from Māori and selling it to the first settlers. All the early towns were on or near the coast. The land was drawn first from ships at sea, then gradually the inland areas were explored, named and appropriated. As in this work, much early colonial landscape art is celebratory of progress.

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