The reception of the Rev J Williams at Tanna, in the South Seas, the day before he was massacred. WILLIAMS, George BAXTER.

The reception of the Rev J Williams at Tanna…
The reception of the Rev J Williams at Tanna, in the South Seas, the day before he was massacred.

London: George Baxter, 1841.

Colour Baxter print, approx. 230 x 340 mm.

A prelude to violence…

The prelude to one of the most famous scenes of South Seas violence: the massacre of the missionary Reverend John Williams at Erromanga in the New Hebrides. George Baxter has represented, in colour, an event in Pacific history of both 'sublime and dreadful interest, and the treatment of it worthy to commemorate the momentous occurrence it represents…' (Courtney Lewis, George Baxter His Life and Work, p. 102). At this period, the missionary societies were both active and wealthy and the more famous missionaries were given the status of heroes. Reverend John Williams was considered such a celebrity, and in 1839 when he was killed by natives on the island of Erromanga, Vanuatu he became a famous martyr.

The prelude to one of the most famous scenes of South Seas violence: the massacre of the missionary Reverend John Williams at Erromanga in the New Hebrides. George Baxter has represented, in colour, an event in Pacific history of both 'sublime and dreadful interest, and the treatment of it worthy to commemorate the momentous occurrence it represents…' (Courtney Lewis, George Baxter His Life and Work, p. 102). At this period, the missionary societies were both active and wealthy and the more famous missionaries were given the status of heroes. Reverend John Williams was considered such a celebrity, and in 1839 when he was killed by natives on the island of Erromanga, Vanuatu he became a famous martyr.

Baxter's revolutionary colour-printing process, using oils, was patented in 1835. The print was also issued in sepia: this is the far more interesting coloured version, and remains in its original nineteenth-century gilded frame, complete with inscription plaque which although chipped carries the full formal caption including Baxter's imprint (in which he notes himself as "Patentee" of the colouring process).

Nan Kivell & Spence, p. 321 (illustrated p. 19).

Condition Report: A couple of spots and slight ageing, otherwise very good, mounted.

Price (AUD): $950.00

US$699.91   Other currencies

Ref: #3407222

Condition Report