William Hodges was engaged by Captain James Cook to document his second voyage to the Pacific (1772-75). Cook had been commissioned by the British government to navigate the globe as far south as possible, in order to determine whether there was any southern landmass or ‘Terra Australis’. Over the course of the voyage Hodges visited various Pacific islands, including Tahiti, depicted here. Hodges pictures it in two parts to form one panoramic view, with Point Venus at left. Cook had himself named Point Venus during his first voyage to the South Pacific (1768-71). Hodges produced a number of paintings depicting Matavai Bay, one of which was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London in 1776.
- Article by:
- John McAleer
- Military and maritime
Dr John McAleer explores how both British, and non-European, professional and amateur artists engaged with the British Empire via the medium of landscape art.