Drawings completed on Lieutenant James Cook's voyage to the antipodes from 1768 to 1771 were originally attributed to Joseph Banks but recent scholarship now asserts that his Tahitian guide may have been the artist.
sketcher, naturalist and patron, accompanied Lieutenant James Cook on his voyage to Australia in HMSEndeavour (1768-1771). It has been suggested that Banks, who later became president of the Royal Society (1778-1820), made a number of drawings during this voyage. The argument is based on the fact that two diagrammatic drawings of Tahitian marae (now in the British Library) conform closely to descriptions written by Banks about the marae he visited during a tour of Tahiti which he made with Cook and a Tahitian guide from 26 June to 1 July 1769. Since no artist accompanied Banks, apart from the Tahitian guide to whom they are now attributed, the drawings were originally attributed to Banks.
On these grounds, a number of other 'naive’ drawings collected on the Endeavour voyage may also be by the Tahitian guide. Bernard Smith attributed them all to Banks but (rightly) found the evidence inconclusive and preferred the attribution of 'Artist of the Chief Mourner’.
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