A Wonderful Collection of Seven Paintings of Tahiti by Royal Naval Officer SR Lock
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British

Watercolor on Paper Dated 1847
Each signed, inscribed and dated  
   

A Wonderful Collection of Seven Paintings of Tahiti by Royal Naval Officer SR Lock
 
⚈ Sold

Watercolor on Paper Dated 1847
Each signed, inscribed and dated  
   

This fascinating and historically important series of watercolors by an officer of the Royal Navy gives us a glimpse of Tahiti as it looked in its last days of self-rule in the early 19th century.

S.R. Lock, likely a British Naval Officer either stationed in or visiting Tahiti with his ship, followed a great tradition of naval illustration in watercolor, documenting his voyages in a time before photography. Gentleman officers would sketch and paint to illustrate personal journals, as is likely with Lock, or a ship’s officers from ensigns to masters did illustrations for logbooks.  Among these works paintings of Tahiti and South Seas subjects are extremely rare as are any such works with a high level of artistic skill and in good condition, well presented and with bright colors and details remaining.  The collection also shows a great variety of subject matter from government and military buildings, to the merchant ship with natives spearfishing nearby, to portraits, and everyday scenes of life for native and non-native alike.  

Each of the pieces are framed in fine quality birds eye maple frames.

From a historical perspective, the time in which Lock was living in Tahiti was a time of turmoil and transition. 1847 was the end of the Tahitian War of Independence- a conflict between France and Tahiti in which France was the victor. Their Queen, Pomare, had been allowed to return from exile, but with her powers limited and the island firmly under French control.

The British, though they had played a role in stirring up the hostilities, were allowed to remain on the island and to call at its ports. Lock depicts several interesting scenes of life as well as important ... Read More


EXHIBITED: San Diego, Maritime Museum of San Diego, Cook,Melville & Gauguin, Three Voyages to Paradise, May 2011-January 2012, no.91.