Landing at Mallicolo, 1774
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', 1772-75. Cook was in the New Hebrides from 4 June to 13 September 1774, during which time he spent six weeks making a careful survey of the island group. This painting is an official record of the event, composed in London for engraving in the published account of the voyage, and has adopted the traditional mode of history painting. The Malekulans are depicted wearing the 'yelau', a form of loincloth, tied up to a belt worn about the waist. Cook wrote that 'their signs of Friendship is a green branch and sprinkling water with the hand over the head'. Cook and his men are shown in contemporary dress and the islanders are painted to accord with the ethnographic reports, but the artist continues to use poses and gestures whose ultimate origin lies in classical statuary, particularly in the case of the islanders.
- Image reference: BHC1904
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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