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William Parry, the Welsh artist, painted this shortly after the completion of Cook’s second Voyage of exploration. Omai, a native of Tahiti, had come to England in Cook’s sister ship 'Adventure', the first Pacific islander to do so. Sir Joseph Banks quickly took charge of Omai and introduced him in London society. Banks and Dr Daniel Solander, the Swedish botanist, had accompanied Cook on his first Voyage.
oil on canvas
H 150 x W 150 cm
purchased jointly with the National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff and the National Portrait Gallery, London, with the generous help of a private benefactor, the Normanby Trust, the National Art Collections Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Flora Frazer and Peter Soros, Sir Christopher Ondaatje, Linda L. Brownrigg, Randolph and Lara Lerner, Jon and Lillian Lovelace, the Clore Foundation, Sir Henry Djanogly, Hans and Märit Rausing, Lawrence Banks, the Swan Trust, Amanda Sebestyen, Sir David Attenborough, Lord Plymouth, Lord Windsor and many other donations, 2003