I first became familiar with the works of GOTTFRIED LINDAUER when I
called into a Cafe in Woodville for some Fish and Chips, while on a
national singing tour. Hanging on the wall of the Cafe were
reproductions of LINDAUER works. I asked the proprietor of the cafe who
painted them, she said "A man who lived right here in Woodville."
One question led to many more and I found myself purchasing the book by Dr Briar Gordon & Professor Peter Stupples. Photographer Arne Loot has captured Lindauer's real life characters superbly.
When I first became interested in MOKO I started to research not only Lindauer's work but the amazing Goldie. I've spent many hrs gazing at both artists works at the AUCKLAND CITY ART GALLERY. In these artists works of our ancestors, not only do they look real true life depictions, but there capturing of the art of MOKO is wholelistic.
In comparison for me HORATIO GORDAN ROBLEY's sketches and watercolours depict his fascination with Maori MOKO more as the amateur ethnologist and artist and not as a fine artist. This analysis however does not detract from his importance as a recorder of early Maori life nor from his drawings & paintings of our ancestors.
Maui Dalvanius Prime Director Mokomokai the Documentary
The attraction of LINDAUER's portraits depends in large measure on the mana of their subjects. These people command our respect and attention: their mien and bearing suggests their noble standing. Some were ARIKI, ARISTOCRATS,PARAMOUNT CHIEF'S; others were RANGATIRA, CHIEF'S AND CHIEFTAINESSES of high rank. Certainly all won steem for themselves either from Maori or from pakeha, by their deeds and achievements.
It is a matter of interest that LINDAUER chose, or was advised, to portray without prejudice both the Maori who favoured Eutopean settlement and authority, and those who deplored it, though naturally enough, his commissions were more numerous from chiefs who had come to terms with Europeans, whether as trading partners or as allies in battle.
LINDAUER, concerned to satisfy those who had commissioned his services. appears to have viewed his subjects impartially, remaining aloof from the tensions that divided the races. The Partridge Collection can be viewed at the AUCKLAND CITY ART GALLERY where it is on permanent exhibition. All works are oil on canvas. His self - portrait however is privately owned.
GOTTFRIED LINDAUER was born January the 5th 1839 in the then snall but prosperous town of Pilsen (Plzen) in Bohemia, already reknown for its beer. Despite his German surname, LINDAUER was Czech, christened Bohumir. His father, Ignatz was a nurseryman at the Bishop's palace. At the age of 13 young Bohumir was apprenticed to his father, spending most of his time in the nurseries drawing and painting the flowers. In 1855 he enrolled at the Academy in Vienna studying under Leopold Kupelwieser & Josef von Fuhrich. Kupelwieser was a painter of portraits and historical&religious subjects while Fuhrich had a reputation as a romantic religious painter. While in Vienna Lindauer adopted the German christian name of GOTTRIED, this in an attempt to conceal his Czech origins and hence enhance his chances of a career as a German Catholic painter of religious subjects. A Bohemian friend had shown LINDAUER an article about New Zealand describing its wonderful natural beauty and the simple charm and nobility of the Indigenous Maori. On the 11th April 1874 he boarded the Reichstag which left Hamburg with 340 passengers bound for New Zealand. The Reichstag arrived in Port Nicholson on August 6th 1874 where the passengers disembarked on Somes Island. From Port Nicholson LINDAUER made his way across Cook straight to Nelson where he studied English with a Mr Harling. He remained in the South Island for 2 years, earning a living painting the portraits of local settlers and their families.LINDAUER seems to have made contact with the Maori soon after his arrival both as a painter and as a photographer. Commissions probably came via settler patrons, but as his reputation spread in the local community, Maori associated with the pakeha also became interested in these commemorative images. It is to this period that his first portrait of HURIA MATENGA, the grace Darling of New Zealand, belongs. The portrait was painted at Whakapuaka pa. In late 1875 or early 1876 LINDAUER made his way to Auckland showing three portraits of gentleman at the 3rd exhibition of the Society of Artists, In Auckland the exhibition opening 16th November 1875. LINDAUER befriended Mr HENRY PARTRIDGE while in Auckland. PARTRIDGE was a young bussiness man establishing himself in the city. PARTRIDGE journeyed frequently into the remoter parts of the Coramandel where he became fascinated with the Maori and their way of life. He could forsee the rapid disintergration of the Maori social structure and customs, and he became empassioned with preserving a pictorial record of 'Old time Maori' for posterity. He was delighted to meet LINDAUER and from then on when funds permitted, PARTRIDGE commissioned the artist to paint portraits of Maori Chief'(s) and personalities.
1876 : at his Queen Street studio he paints "Moses" a Maori peach hawker.
May HORI TUPAEA agrees to sit for a portrait.
1877: While visiting wellington LINDAUER was visited by many Maori who were attending the Whakamaori Law case in the Capital. His Hotel room in the Chamber of Commerce was turned into a temporary art studio and he painted more portraits of Maori.
1877: At the end of 1877 LINDAUER spent 10 months in the Thames district painting both pakeha and Maori.
1878: While still in the Coramandel he met HENNE RUPENE His portrait of the young maori mother and her child became his most famous work. He painted at least 30 versions of the work sending a copy back to Bohemia and it still hangs to this day in a gallery in Pilsen.
1878 - 1881: LINDAUER travels extensively even visiting Melbourne in Australia.
1879: He marries EMELIA WIPPER of Danzigin Australia, the couple return to settle in Christchurch .
1880 : EMELIA dies in childbirth on 24th february. She is buried at Barbados street Cemetary. The painter once again resumes his restless travels making his way back up to the North Island settling and opening a studio in Napier. He makes the acquaintance of Samuel Carnell the manager of the Napier branch of the photography firm of Swan & Wrigglesworth whos main firm was in Wellington.
1881: LINDAUER obtained his naturalisation papers on June 27th, Carnell instrumental in helping him obtaIn this status. It was probably Carnell who introduced LINDAUER to Walter Buller a prominant Lawyer representing pakeha & Maori clients. Buller was familiar with LINDAUER's works.
1881 - 1885: LINDAUER travels frequently with Buller to Native Land Court hearings, particularly in the Hawkes Bay area, taking photographs and painting portraits of people as commissioned by Buller and others.
1885: LINDAUER was paid 2,729 pounds for twenty portraits. He purchased new photographic equipment, moving to Marton, between Wanganui&Palmerston North. On September 15th, he marries Rebecca Petty, who was born in Bishop's Stortford, England. Couple recieve wedding gifts of Maori artifacts from Buller and a waikato patron, Major Wilson. In same year Buller exhibits 9 portraits of Maori he commissioned LINDAUER to paint at the New Zealand Industrial Exhibition in Wellington. The official record described the artists paintings as 'One of the most attractive features of the Exhibition'."They are the most lifelike and realistic pictures of the kind imaginable, full of technical work of high order. The artist appears to have caught the expression in the happy manner, and in the introduction of accessories has handled his subject in the most truthful and effective way. The value of these pictures hereafter as a faithful portraiture of a dying race will simply be incalculable: and the more so as several of the subjects have figured prominently in recent Maori history"
1886: Buller takes these paintings and others by LINDAUER to the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London. LINDAUER and his wife accompanied the exhibition to London. At the opening the Prince of Wales admired LINDAUER'S "POI GIRL", Buller gave the painting as a gift to the Prince. At the end of 1886 the LINDAUER's returned to New Zealand
1887: The couples first child was born, a son Hector. Two of the painters patrons were honoured in Hectors additional christian names- Carnell Partridge.
1888: A second son Victor was born. He followed his fathers interest in painting, but he eventually became a school teacher and pioneer algologist.
1889: The family moved to Woodville in December. Here LINDAUER came to rest after his former peripatetic existence. He built a studio in the garden, where he stored his photographic plates, painted commissions for Henry Partridge and entertained the many people who travelled to Woodville to sit for their portraits.
1900: GOTTFRIED, Rebecca and Hector made another longer visit to Europe, this time visiting LINDAUERS family in Pilsen. Hector took Violin lessons at the Leipzig Conservaatory. They remained there till 1902. On their return to New Zealand LINDAUER again worked for Partridge.
1904: Partridge lent 9 paintings, including 2 genre works - 'TOHUNGA UNDER TAPU'&'TOHUNGA TA MOKO AT WORK' to the New Zealand government for display at the World Exposition in St Louis U.S.A. A version of HENNE RUPENE and her daughter was awarded the Grand Prize by the Committee of the Palace of Art. offers to buy the Partridge paintings by LINDAUER came from European and American museums.
1908: Partridge was offered 25,000 pounds for his entire collection of LINDAUER portraits by an American Institution. but the entire collection was returned to New Zealand and Partridge had them on permanent display at his home in Grafton road Auckland. The collection was eventually transferred to a large room above Partridges shop in Queen street opposite the Union Bank of Australia. Partridge turned the room into a private art gallery open to the public free of charge.
1911: The LINDAUER'S make another journey to Europe returning to NZ in 1914.
1913: Partridges lease expires and the Collection is moved to the Auckland Public Art Gallery.
1914: The Partridge family are caught up with events in the second world war while on a trip to Europe. They made an exciting dangerous dash across Nothern France ahead of the advancing Germans. They were full of pity for the Belgian refugees. They returned to NZ.
1915: A fund was opened for Belgian relief, Partridge offers his collection to the province of Auckland on condition that 10,000 pounds was raised for the fund. It was soon oversubscribed and the Partridge collection of 70 LINDAUER's was given to the Auckland city Council to hold in Trust for the people of the provincial district of Auckland. LINDAUER continued to work in his studio until about 1918 completing a fine portrait of his wife and a revealing self - portrait in 1916. His eyesight gradually deteriorated and he spent his last years quietly in Woodville.
1926: GOTTFRIED LINDAUER PASSED AWAY, 13th June, aged 86.