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Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki – Virtual Tour

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki - Virtual Tour

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki – Virtual Tour

The Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is the leading public gallery in Auckland, New Zealand, and has the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand. 

European paintings initially dominated the collection following the historical taste of the 19th century. Today’s collection includes a variety of periods, styles, and media.

Many New Zealand and Pacific artists are represented, as well as Europe and art from the Middle Ages to the present day, and the collection numbers over 15,000 artworks.

A Virtual Tour of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Highlights Tour of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

“Tamati Waka Nene” by Gottfried Lindauer

Tamati Waka Nene” by Gottfried Lindauer, depicts a prominent and courageous Maori chief of the Nga-ti-toa Tribe. Tamati Waka Nene (1780 – 1871).

He converted to the Wesleyan faith in 1839 and took the name Tamati Waka, after Thomas Walker, an English merchant, and patron of the Church Missionary Society.

Tamati Waka Nene is recognized as a prime agent in effecting Maori support for the Treaty of Waitangi.

When the British assembled the Maori chiefs at Waitangi, to obtain their support for the Treaty of Waitangi, the British proposals were initially rejected by the chiefs, until Nene and his supporters made their move of support.

Nene, by his diplomacy, eloquence, and wise words, turned the sentiment of the assembled chiefs towards supporting the treaty.

“Paratene Te Manu” by Gottfried Lindauer

“Paratene Te Manu” by Gottfried Lindauer depicts a Maori with his ‘Tā moko.’ Tā moko is the permanent marking of the face and body as traditionally practiced by Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.

The subject of this portrait, Paratene Te Manu, who was one of 14 Māori who visited England in 1863. He met Queen Victoria, appearing before her in traditional clothing and ornaments. T

ā moko is the permanent body and face markings developed by the Māori. Unlike tattoos, Tā moko is carved by chisels in the skin and not punctured. This chiseling process left the skin with grooves, and not a smooth surface.

“In Time of Peril” by Edmund Blair Leighton

“In Time of Peril” by Edmund Blair Leighton depicts two young princes, one still a baby wrapped in his mother’s elaborate royal clothing, being spirited away from danger to a protective monastery.

This painting was created and exhibited during Queen Victoria’s sixtieth anniversary of reign and represented the anxieties stirred by an aging monarch.

As the adults in the boat await anxiously for permission to enter the sanctuary, the young prince looks over his shoulder and the potential lurking danger.

“Blow Blow Thou Wind” by John Everett Millais

“Blow Blow Thou Wind” by John Everett Millais depicts a winter landscape with a hapless dog at the center, with divided loyalty between the stranded mother with her child, and the man who is walking away. Which will the loyal dog pick?

The mother is seated on a rock in the snow as her shawl pulled over her head to keep the wind and cold from her child as it feeds. In the distance, the child’s father is walking away.

The poem below provides a clue as to whether he is abandoning the family of going ahead to search for food and shelter.

“Susanna and the Elders” by Francesco Ciseri 

“Susanna and the Elders” by Francesco Ciseri is a copy made from a painting by Guido Reni (1575 – 1642)in the Uffizi.

Copying from the Old Masters was popular, both as a teaching aid and to create copies of famous artworks, before photography for an eager market well into the 20th century. 

Susanna and the Elders is a narrative included in the Book of Daniel as chapter 13 by the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. It is one of the additions to Daniel, considered apocryphal by Protestants.

“Still on Top” by James Tissot

“Still on Top” by James Tissot has a photographic quality and depicts two women assist an elderly servant wearing a red cap, to raise a line of flags. The painting’s title may refer to the British Union Jack, which is obscured at the top.

James Tissot had a reputation for parody and wit, the title of the painting would reflect his irony. Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836 – 1902), anglicized as James Tissot, was a French painter and illustrator.

He was a successful painter in Paris before moving to London in 1871. He became famous as a genre painter of fashionably dressed women. Tissot left Paris after the Franco-Prussian War and resided in London from 1871.

He knew James McNeill Whistler and Edgar Degas, but turned away from Impressionism and focused mainly on portraits and genre paintings of the Victorian upper classes in a more polished academic style.

These pictures are typical of Tissot’s work, depicting his subjects with almost photographic realism. He composed ambiguous narratives that hinted at risqué behavior among the wealthy classes and the boundaries of propriety.

“Lamia” by John William Waterhouse

“Lamia” by John William Waterhouse depicts a young knight as he gazes in enchantment at Lamia, who kneels before him. She has one hand on his hand and the other resting on his armor plate.

The only clue to her nature captured in the glimmering molted snake-skin draped about her. 

The painting was inspired by Keats’ poem of 1820, about a bridegroom who discovers that his bride is a monstrous half-serpent on his wedding night. The peacock tinges in Lamia’s dress are drawn from Keat’s description.

The poem is set in the wild hills of ancient Greece and speaks of a young charioteer who falls inextricably in love with the most beautiful girl. He is unaware that this vision is, in reality, a monstrous half-serpent, who metamorphoses into a woman’s form to prey on young men.

Lamia symbolizes any person or desire that seems to be attractive but is actually destructive. Beauty can be superficial and destructive. The poem concerns the tension between appearance and reality.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

  • Museums:            Auckland Art Gallery
  • Maori Name:       Toi o Tāmaki
  • Completed:         1887
  • Type Museum:    Art Gallery
  • Location:             Auckland, New Zealand
  • Address:              Corner Wellesley and Kitchener Streets, Auckland City
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Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki – Map

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki – Virtual Tour

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki – Virtual Tour

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki – Virtual Tour

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Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Auckland Art Gallery

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“As man disappears from sight, the land remains.”
– Maori Proverb

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Photo Credit: JOM

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