Gottfried Lindauer (1839-1926) was one of New Zealand's leading portrait painters. He created an amazing visual record of the major Māori figures of 19th century Aotearoa New Zealand. So who was Lindauer? How did he create such life-like and detailed portraits? Why were they painted? And what was the role of his patron Henry Partridge?

  • Gottfied Lindauer, circa 1899. Photographer unidentified.  

    The Artist Gottfried Lindauer

    Gottfried Lindauer (1839-1926), along with C.F. Goldie (1870-1947), was the most prolific and best-known painter of Māori subjects, in particular portraits, in the late nineteenth-early twentieth centuries.

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  • Close up of painting 

    The Materials and Techniques of Gottfried Lindauer

    The realism of the portraits by Gottfried Lindauer caused a sensation amongst New Zealanders, at a time before colour photography. The artist was able to capture the quiet dignity of the sitter in a smooth, concise manner and with a convincing sense of light falling on a three-dimensional form. In many cases the figures appeared to emerge from the shadows, creating a dramatic presence.

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  • Carte des visite 

    Photography and the Portraits of Gottfried Lindauer

    Gottfried Lindauer’s admiration for photography helps us understand his working processes as a portrait painter. We know that he made photographs himself but few of these prints remain and it is not clear whether he ever utilised his own photography as a starting point for his portraiture.

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  • Gottfried Lindauer, The Very Rev. De Berdt Hovell, 1896, private collection 

    Merging Techniques – New Research into Lindauer’s Use of Photographs

    The extent to which Gottfried Lindauer used photography for his portraits was thought to be limited to an aid for sketching, but recent examination of two Pākehā portraits has revealed that the artist also painted directly over photographic images.

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  • Photo of Henry Partridge 

    Biography of Henry Edward Partridge 1848 - 1931

    Henry Edward Partridge was one of Gottfried Lindauer’s earliest clients, and grew to be his most dedicated patron. Their professional relationship lasted almost forty years. Partridge is now best remembered for having amassed a collection of over seventy paintings by Lindauer, later known as the Partridge Collection.

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  • The Partridge Correspondence |  

    The Partridge Correspondence

    A fascinating series of Henry Partridge’s private documents relating to the Partridge Collection have now been digitised by the Auckland Art Gallery’s E.H. McCormick Research Library. These documents constitute the Partridge Correspondence.

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  • Gottfried Lindauer and Henry Partridge: A Timeline |  

    Gottfried Lindauer and Henry Partridge: A Timeline

    Explore the major events in the lives of Gottfried Lindauer and his patron Henry Partridge, and the development of the Partridge Collection.

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  • Gottfried Lindauer: A Career in New Zealand |  

    Gottfried Lindauer: A Career in New Zealand

    Gottfried Lindauer's (1839-1926) reputation peaked in the first decade of the twentieth century. No other New Zealand artist had achieved a definitive monument such as the Lindauer Art Gallery on Auckland's Queen Street, opened in 1901, where the Māori portraits amassed by the collector and businessman Henry Partridge (1848-1931) were displayed to the delight of Māori visitors, tourists and locals alike. How had Lindauer succeeded in gaining such status as the premier painter of Māori?

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  • Pilsen, New Zealand, Berlin: The Travels of Gottfried Lindauer |  

    Pilsen, New Zealand, Berlin: The Travels of Gottfried Lindauer

    He was born in Pilsen (today Plzen), Bohemia, as the son of Hynek-Ignatz Lindauer, a gardener, and his wife Maria Schmid. For three years from the age of thirteen Lindauer was his father's apprentice, spending much time sketching flowers and plants. In 1855 he decamped, and supposedly walked, to Vienna to study at the Academy of Fine Arts under Leopold Kupelwieser and Joseph von Führich, the one-time Nazarene artist.

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Tāia tēnei whārangi | Print this page
  • Whakaahua Mūori | Mūori Portraits

    View the portraits of Māori painted by Gottfried Lindauer in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Search for specific portraits by iwi or keyword and view the painting in detail through the zoom viewer.

  • Documentary series | Behind the Brush

    The Māori Television series Behind the Brush brings alive the stories of descendants and to uncover the lives of the artist, the patron and tupuna Māori.

  • Pukapuka manuhiri | Visitors Book

    Turn the pages, view the hundreds of comments and signatures, read the transcription and translation, and search by name and place. A digitisation of an historical legacy.