He Ringatoi O Ngā Tūpuna: Isaac Coates and his Māori Portraits
October 13 @ 2:00 pm NZDT
Isaac Coates lived in New Zealand from 1841 to 1845. During that time he painted portraits of 58 Māori people, mostly from Te Tau Ihu. The book He Ringatoi O Ngā Tūpuna Te Tau Ihu tracks Coates’s life, and provides biographical details of his subjects where they can be reliably identified. Its authors, John and Hilary Mitchell discuss the Coates portraits. All welcome!
English artist Isaac Coates painted an important series of historical Māori portraits in Te Tau Ihu/Top of the South and the Wellington and Kapiti coast area, between 1841 and 1845. The 58 watercolour portraits depict Māori men and women from chiefly whakapapa, as well as commoners and at least one slave. Coates’s meticulous records of each subject’s name, iwi and place of residence are invaluable, and his paintings are strong images of individuals, unlike the stereotyped art of the day. Whānau, hapū and iwi treasure Coates’s works because they are the only images of some tūpuna.