An exhibition inspired by George Stubbs' Kangaroo painting, which is on a UK tour after being acquired by the National Maritime Museum with support from the Art Fund.
On his return in 1771 from Captain Cook’s ‘first voyage of discovery’ – which had taken him from Brazil to New Zealand and Australia – the eminent naturalist Sir Joseph Banks commissioned two paintings from the artist George Stubbs. The Kongouro from New Holland and Portrait of a Large Dog, were the only animal portraits that the artist did not paint from life, instead based on Banks’s observations. These provided the first glimpses of Australian creatures to Europe.
This spring The Kongouro from New Holland – which has been on an Art Fund supported tour of the UK – provides the centrepiece of the Horniman Museum's exhibition exploring Cook's adventures. It is shown alongside a taxidermy mount of an Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and images of other exotic animals painted by Stubbs in the Georgian period.