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Mrs Humphrey Devereux

Poedua [Poetua], daughter of Oreo, chief of Ulaietea, one of the Society Isles, 1785. Webber, John. Purchased 2010. Te Papa

Poedua [Poetua], daughter of Oreo, chief of Ulaietea, one of the Society Isles

John Webber’s Poedua [Poetua], daughter of Oreo, chief of Ulaietea, one of the Society Isles, was the first great portrait of an indigenous woman of the South Pacific presented to a European audience. It is now considered to be one of Webber’s most significant works, described as without doubt Webber’s ‘… most serene painting, perhaps the most arrestingly beautiful portrait that any Cook artist produced.'

The portrait’s significance extends beyond its art historical value, for it is also a record of a clash of cultures that resulted from an early encounter between European explorers and the indigenous people of the South Pacific.

Read more about Poedua

The conservation of Poedua – Te Papa's Blog

Highlights
Click on the images below to find out more

Hei Tiki

Hei tiki (neck pendant)

Poedua [Poetua], daughter of Oreo, chief of Ulaietea, one of the Society Isles

Portrait of John Greenwood Jnr, by Sir William Beechey

Sir William Beechey
Portrait of John Greenwood Jnr.

 
       
 

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