D. S. fl 1840s-1850s :[Soldier asleep in a whare, being watched over by a Maori woman. Between 1845 and 1858]

D. S. fl 1840s-1850s :[Soldier asleep in a whare, being watched over by a Maori woman. Between 1845 and 1858]
1845 - 1858
Merrett, Joseph Jenner, 1815-1854; Wynyard, Robert Henry (Sir), 1802-1864
A young bare-footed soldier asleep on a pile of blankets, his rifle propped against the wall behind him. A young Maori woman is seated on the floor beside him, watching him affectionately as he sleeps. A woven kete (kit) is hanging on the wall and there is an open door to the right with a sunrise or sunset showing above distant hills. An open case stands in the doorway. The soldier is wearing a short blue coat, striped shirt and white trousers. The woman has one shoulder bare and is wrapped in a flax cloak with a black fringe and black tassles. Has previously been attributed to Joseph Jenner Merrett and the woman is somewhat in his style; however it does not appear to be his work. As the former property of artist and soldier R. H. Wynyard, it is very likely to be associated with the 58th Regiment, of which Wynyard was in charge in New Zealand from 1845. He was acting-Governor of New Zealand (based in Auckland) 1853-1855 and was Superintendant of Auckland. He left Auckland (and New Zealand) in 1859. The scene is likely to be Northland, in which case it will date from 1845 or 1846; or Auckland, in which case it could date from 1846 to 1859. The only fellow-officer from the 58th Regiment with initials that match "D. S." is William Davies Shipley, who joined the army in 1848 as an Ensign, became a Lieutenant in 1849, joined the 58th Regiment in the mid 1850s and became a Captain in 1858. There is no evidence that he had any artistic ability, however. He made a career of the army, rising to Lieut-Colonel by the 1880s and retiring about 1887. Exhibited in 'Wide-Eyed: Early Images of New Zealand' exhibition of works by settler artists, held at the National Library of New Zealand Gallery, 18 July - 9 November 1997. Inscriptions: Recto - bottom left - D S (in faint blue upper case letters) Quantity: 1 watercolour(s). Physical Description: Watercolour 151 x 202 mm Provenance: Originally belonged to Robert Henry Wynyard, who was in New Zealand 1845-1846 and 1847 to 1858. Passed by descent to the Wynyard family of Auckland and sold to art dealer Brian Groshinski then of Wellington, in the early 1970s.
Access restrictions
Partly restricted - Please use surrogate in place of original
1 watercolour(s), Works of art, Watercolours, Watercolour 151 x 202 mm
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Merrett, Joseph Jenner, 1815-1854. D. S. fl 1840s-1850s :[Soldier asleep in a whare, being watched over by a Maori woman. Between 1845 and 1858]. Ref: A-113-034. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22307572

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