Matavai Bay, Tahiti by William Hodges

William Hodges was the first professional European artist to visit Tahiti, a key site in all three of Captain Cook’s voyages.


Pen, ink & watercolour on paper
37.6 x 54.6 cm
Art Fund grant:
£25,000 ( Total: £90,000)
Acquired in:

Matavai Bay was the site of the first contact between Europeans and native people of the island during a key period of exploration and discovery. Hodges perfectly captures the singular landscape and atmosphere of the Pacific environment, the fishing boat in the foreground, with both precision and dramatic imagination.


John Leach Bennett of Merton; by descent to Elizabeth Cook; by descent to private collector.

Venue details

Captain Cook Memorial Museum Walker's House, Grape Lane, WHITBY North Yorkshire YO22 4BA 01947 601 900

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £4.80)

10 Feb – 31 Mar Daily, 11 am – 3 pm 1 Apr – 1 Nov Daily, 9.45 am – 5 pm