Panorama of Eimeo [Moorea], Society Islands by Edward Gennys Fanshawe

Panorama of Eimeo [Moorea], Society Islands

Edward Gennys Fanshawe

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Panorama of Eimeo [Moorea], Society Islands

Mounted in album with PAI4605-PAI4620, PAI4622-PAI4670.; No.16. No. 16 in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849-1852. A fold-out panoramic outline drawing on five joined sheets, of which the second from right is fixed to the album page. Eimeo is one of the 18th and 19th century Western spellings of the former local name for the island now called Moorea, in the Windward group of the Society Islands, 17 km north-west of Tahiti, and was annexed just a year after it by France, in 1843. It is of volcanic origin and approximately heart-shaped, with a north side and the other two orientated south-west and south-east. The highest point is Mount Tohivea (1207 m) in the south-east corner. Like John Webber before him, on Cook's last voyage, Fanshawe shows the south-eastern aspect towards Tahiti, in a dramatic and impressively well drawn panorama. His ship, 'Daphne', is to the left within the reef's main entrance. The harbour of Taloo, with the main settlement, Afareaitu, is in the centre. 'Daphne' arrived on 26 August and left on the evening of the 27th, after Fanshawe had been ashore. He noted that the French had recently constructed a heavy battery directly opposite the entry to the lagoon, possibly hidden here by the ship, and on 1 September mentioned this drawing in a letter to his wife: 'it is difficult to conceive a more beautiful island. I have a sketch of the harbour which is intended on some future day to give you some faint notion if it...' (Fanshawe [1904] p. 199). This is one of a group of eleven Fanshawe drawings of the Society Islands, PAI4616 - PAI426, made while he commanded the 'Daphne' in the Pacific: three are of Moorea (PAI4617, PAI4621-PAI6622).
Edward Gennys Fanshawe

Original size: 175 mm x 257 mm

  • Image reference: PZ4621

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