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The Landing at Tanna one of the New Hebrides


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Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID PAI4088
Description This engraving, after a drawing by artist William Hodges,comes from the official account of Cook's second voyage, 'A Voyage towards the South Pole', published by Strahan and Cadell in 1777. Captain James Cook (1728-1779) made three separate voyages to the Pacific (with the ships Endeavour, Resolution, Adventure, and Discovery) and did more than any other voyager to explore the Pacific and Southern Ocean. Cook not only encountered Pacific cultures for the first time, but also assembled the first large-scale collections of Pacific objects to be brought back to Europe. He was killed in Hawaii in 1779. William Hodges (1744 - 1797) joined Cook's second expedition to the South Pacific as a draughtsman 1772-75 and was employed by the Admiralty in finishing his drawings. Cook traveled to Tanna between August 6-20, 1774. As recorded in Hawkesworth's account: "Cook's landing party approaching the beach, the captain holding the fronds of a palm in his right hand and the barrel of a musket in his left. At the extreme left a party of Tanan men brandishing clubs and spears, and another similar party at centre. Between the two parties are three older men, without weapons, who gesture with their open hands. They each stand in front of a separate pile of 'a few bunches of plantains, a yam and two Taro roots, and before each of them a small reed stuck 'at right angles to the sea shore'. See Cook's description of the landing. There are some slight divergences: for example, Cook speaks of 'four small reeds'; only three are shown in the painting." Hodges's painting of The Landing at Tanna is also at the NMM (object ID: BHC1905). This is the first of two such engravings. Mounted in album with PAI4078-PAI4087, PAI4089-PAI4214.; Page 134.; No. 59.
Date made 1 Feb 1777

Artist/Maker Sherwin, John Keyse
Strahan, William
Cadell, Thomas
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials engraving & etching
Measurements Sheet: 353 x 551 mm; Plate: 278 x 507 mm
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