We have very little information on painting in Oceania. It and Africa have the most limited profuction of paintings. Here a relatively small population is a fctor. Islam is another factor. We do do not see paintings from Oceania until Europeans began settling there. This primrily occurred in the late-18th century. The largest number of images come from Australia, largely because it had he largest population of uropean origins in the region. The artists were mostly European until the 20th century when locally born artists appeared. There are several Australian artists, but are not well known outside of Australia. The number of Tahitian artists is limited. And most of the artists we know of are Europeans are of European origins. Surely the most famous images of Oceania are those painted by Gaughin in Tahiti during the 19th century. There are some very early colonial images from the Philippines, most of a religious character. Relatively few Spainards settled in the Philippines. But the Spanish fathers trained some native artists. This is similar to the ar enrging in Latin America. We note a few Australian and New Zealand painters. The most populace country in the region is Indonesia, but here Islamic prohibitions have discouraged painting. Presumably there was some work by Dutch artists, but we do not yet have little information on such work.
The first Australian artists werec all Europeans. William Strutt, an English artist same to Melbourn just before the Gold Rush (1850). He provides us one of the earliest views of a colonial Australian family. The O’Mullane family had five children after their marriage (1840). Artists have provided some wonderful images of nature (the Outback). Alexander Schramm painted wonderful imges of ythe Outback in the 1850s. It was man's taming of nature during the 19th and early-20th centuries that was the focus. As might be expected, this was a theme also exceptionally addressed by two countries with similar experiences with nature--America and Russia. Two Australian artists, Arthur Streeton (1867-1943) and Tom Roberts (1856-1931) established an artist camp at Box Hill (near Melbourne) and later Heidelberg which has become the name of their school. Some children appear in their paintings as they were of course a part of the settlement of Australia.
The most populace country in the region is Indonesia, but here Islamic prohibitions have discouraged painting. Presumably there was some work by Dutch artists, but we have only limited information on such work.
We have virtually no information about New Zealand artists. We do note English artist William Beetham. Beetham made his name as a society portraitist. He exhibited at the Royal Academy (1834-53). Beetham had a society clientelle. He exhibited a fine portrait of the former Prime Minister, Frederick Robinson, Viscount Goderich (1843). Dorset Reverend Natanile Bond wanted his family to be depicted by a respected artist and he could afford it. He thus chose Beetham. A few years after painting the Bond family, Beetham emigrated to New Zealand (1855). He thus became one of the most accomplished artists in New Zealand in a relatively early stage of its colonial history. He was elected the first President of the Fine Arts Association in Wellington (1882). One of the better known New Zealand painter is Gottfried Lindauer (1839-1926). He was a Czech-New Zealander painter famous for his portraits including those of the Maori people, the indigenous Polynsian people the Engliush found on New Zealand. We note a Lindauer dated 1907, depicting Maori children playing knucklebones. The game was popular with Maori children who called it 'ruru'. It was played with five stones thrown into the air and caught deftly on the back of the hand. C.F. Goldie (1870-1947) was another imprtant artis painting the Maori. Peter Waddell is an artist who began his career in New Zealand, but emograted to the United States and is now best known for painting U.S. historical cenes, especially White House scenes.
Surely the most famous images of Oceania are those painted by Paul Gaughin in Tahiti and the Marquesas during the late-19th century. Gauguin was one of the foremost painters of the Post-impressionist movement. Together with Cezanne and Van Gogh, they reshaped modern art. Gauguin in 1891, ruined and in debt, sailed for the South Seas to escape European civilization, showing his distaste for Europe and "everything that is artificial and conventional." Except for one visit to France from 1893 to 1895, he remained in the Tropics for the rest of his life, first in Tahiti and later in the Marquesas Islands. Gauguin left France on 3 July 1895, never returned.
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