First Encounters Artwork

A DigitalNZ Story by Erena Williamson

A set of paintings, drawings, engravings and stamps relating to first encounters between Māori and Europeans in Aotearoa New Zealand.

First encounters New Zealand, New Zealand history, Captain Cook, Abel Tasman, Marion du Fresne, Joseph-Antoine Raymond Bruny d'Entrecasteaux, Jules Sebastien Cesar Demont d'Urville

Abel Tasman - 1642

Abel Tasman is officially recognised as the first European to ‘discover’ Aotearoa New Zealand in 1642. His men were the first Europeans to have a confirmed encounter with Māori.

Source: 'Abel Tasman', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/abel-tasman, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 29-Dec-2017

Ink and wash sketch of Abel Tasman by James Ingram McDonald (date unknown) based on a contemporary Dutch portrait.

Abel Janszoon Tasman by James Ingram McDonald

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Small image of Tasman on card mounted on black paper (artist and date unknown).

Abel Tasman

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira

Artwork by Isaac Gilsemans 'A view of the Murderers' Bay, as you are at anchor here in 15 fathom (1642)'.

Murderers Bay, 1642

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Engraving by Isaac Gilsemans (date unknown), who was onboard ship with Tasman when he visited Aotearoa in 1642-1643.

Gilsemans, Isaac, fl 1630s-1645? :Afbeelding van de inwooneren van Nieuw Zeeland. [Amsterdam, 1784]

Alexander Turnbull Library

Isaac Gilsemans drew the Three Kings Islands. Tasman’s ship anchored off the islands on 5 January 1643.

Three Kings Islands

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Description: 'Created by Jacob van Schley and Isaac Gilsemans on or around the date 01 January, 1758'.

Murderers Bay (Baye des Meurtriers/ De Moodenaars Baay)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Gilseman sketched the coast from just north of Punakaiki up to Rocky Point, today’s Cape Foulwind (date unknown).

Tasman’s first view of New Zealand

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Jean Francois marie de Surville - 1769

De Surville arrived off Hokianga on 12 December, went north in search of a suitable anchorage and rounded North Cape on 17 December, in a storm which had blown James Cook, then sailing north up the east coast, just out of sight of land.

Source:  John Dunmore. 'Surville, Jean François Marie de', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1990. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/1s28/surville-jean-francois-marie-de (accessed 4 December 2019) 

1997 stamp honouring de Surville, featuring his ship, St Jean Baptiste, and the pā site at Tokerau where they landed.

Commemorating New Zealand’s discovery

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Captain James Cook - 1769, 1772, 1776

As captain on three voyages of discovery in the late eighteenth century, James Cook became the first European to define the outline of New Zealand.

Source:  'James Cook', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/james-cook, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 1-Mar-2019 

Pen and ink sketch (artist and date unknown).

Captain James Cook

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira

Artwork by John Louise Steele and Charles Henry Kennett Watkins (1769).

Arrival of Captain Cook; An incident in the Bay of Islands, 29 November 1769

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Tahitian Tupaia created this work while he was on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook.

Tupaia's painting of Joseph Banks

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This engraving is based on a sketch by H. D. Spöring, the naturalist on Cook's first voyage to Aoteaoroa (date unknown).

Arched rock, Tolaga Bay

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Engraving by Herman Diedrich Sporing (1769-1773) of Mercury Bay, rather than Tolaga Bay as claimed in the title.

A Fortified village called a Hippah, built on a perforated rock at Tolaga in New Zealand

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Engraving by Herman Diedrich Sporing (1769-1784) of a view from Cook's Cove looking through to Tolaga Bay.

A larger view (by another Artist) of that celebrated Natural Curiosity, the Perforated Rock in Tolaga Bay in New Zealand

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

This hand-coloured engraving was made by Sydney Parkinson, the artist on board Captain Cook’s Endeavour in 1769.

Arched rock, Mercury Bay

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Sydney Parkinson recorded hairstyles and adornment during Cook's voyage to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1769-1770.

Comb and feather adornments

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

An engraved copy of a drawing by Sydney Parkinson, the artist on Cook's ship the Endeavour.

Māori warrior

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Engraving by William Hodges (mid-1770s) of Māori at Dusky Sound, Fiordland, during Cook's second visit to Aotearoa.

Māori at Dusky Sound

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Painting by John Webber (date unknown), official artist on Cook's ship the Resolution during Cook's third visit.

Māori at Ship Cove

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Painting of Ship Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound by John Webber (date unknown).

‘Cook’s Cove’

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Sketch of Horetā Te Taniwha by Charles Heaphy (date unknown).

Early European visitors: Te Horetā Te Taniwha

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Painting of Horetā Te Taniwha by Gottfried Lindaur (1915). Horetā met Cook in 1769 at Mercury Bay.

Horeta Te Taniwha

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

A stamp from 1935 showing Cook being greeted by Māori on his first landing at Poverty Bay in 1769.

Cook stamps

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A 1940 stamp celebrating the 100th anniversary of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi featuring Cook and the Endeavour.

Centennial stamp

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

1997 stamp featuring Cook with his chart of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Millennial stamp

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Marc Joseph Marion du Fresne - 1772

Du Fresne’s was the second French expedition to visit New Zealand, following that of de Surville in 1769. Du Fresne’s acceptance of the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s beliefs about ‘noble savages’ was to have unfortunate consequences.  

Source: 'Marion du Fresne arrives in Bay of Islands', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/marion-du-fresne-arrives-in-the-bay-of-islands, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 4-May-2018 

French explorer du Fresne stopped in the Bay of Islands in 1772 (artist and date unkown).

Death of Marion du Fresne

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This image was most likely drawn during du Fresne's visit to Aotearoa in the early 1770s (artist unknown).

'Femme de la Nouvelle Zélande'

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This sketch appeared in a 1783 book by Julien Crozet, Voyage à la mer du sud. Crozet was on board ship with du Fresne.

Depiction of Māori by a French artist

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Joseph-Antoine Raymond de Bruny d'Entrecasteaux - 1793

In March 1793 Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d’Entrecasteaux, commanding the Espérance and the Recherche, sailed past New Zealand while searching for another French explorer, Jean François de Galoup, Comte de la Pérouse.

Source: 'European discovery of New Zealand - French explorers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/european-discovery-of-new-zealand/page-8 (accessed 27 November 2019)

These engravings are the work of M. Piron (date unknown), who was on d’Entrecasteaux's voyage of 1793.

French portrait of Māori

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Jules Sébastien César Dumont d'Urville- 1824, 1826, 1837

The expedition that Dumont d’Urville led in 1826 is considered to be the last important voyage in the story of the European discovery of New Zealand.  Dumont d’Urville came with the intention of completing Cook’s chart of New Zealand.     

Source: John Wilson, 'European discovery of New Zealand - French explorers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/european-discovery-of-new-zealand/page-8 (accessed 4 December 2019) 

'Depiction of Maori performing dance on board Astrolabe at Tolaga Bay, 1827' (artist and date unknown).

Haka on board the Astrolabe, 1827

Ministry for Culture and Heritage