Ana Reupene Whetuki and Child


Ngāti Maru (? - 18?)


Watch an interview with descendant Toko Renata.

Ana Reupene Whetuki (Ngāti Maru) is recorded as a well-known identity in the Thames goldfield region of the 1870s, and lived at Manaia, where many of her descendants still live today.

Gottfried Lindauer is said to have painted at least 30 versions of this portrait, the earliest in 1878 and the latest in 1920. The direct basis for these portraits is a carte-de-visite studio portrait photograph by the Foy Brothers of Thames. Three other known Lindauer portraits of Māori from this region dated to 1878 (of Hori Ngakapa Whanaunga, Tamati Waka te Puhi and Pare Watene) are also based directly on Foy Brothers' photographs, suggesting that the photographic sources for these four paintings were procured at the same time.

Most other versions of this portrait are titled Ana Rupene and Child. Until 2007, the Christchurch Art Gallery version had been titled Henne Rupene and her daughter Huria, but following information received from Ana's direct descendants, the painting has been retitled to accurately record her name. The oft-repeated story of the child being female, or of dying as a baby is also refuted.

Ken Hall, Assistant Curator, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

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