A View of Point Venus and Matavai Bay, looking east
Hodges's paintings of the Pacific celebrate British exploration. He was appointed by the Admiralty to record the places discovered on Cook's second voyage, undertaken in the 'Resolution' and 'Adventure', 1772-1775. Hodges probably painted this as one of a series of four oil sketches (BHC1840, BHC2375, BHC2376) from the great cabin of the 'Resolution', during Cook's visit to the Society Islands in August and September 1773. With spontaneity extremely unusual for this period, these paintings show his concern to record the atmospheric effects of a tropical climate: the stark contrasts of light and dark, and the virtual elimination of mid-tones, capture the peculiar qualities of southern light. They also discard the conventions of landscape painting, which stress a clear progression from foreground to middle ground to distance.
- Image reference: BHC1937
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Ministry of Defence Art Collection
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