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Robert Isaak Cruikshank (c. 1789-1856)

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Robert Isaak Cruikshank (c. 1789-1856)

Thirteen illustrations for Cook's "Voyages", the majority scenes in Tahiti and Hawaii, including 'Captain Cook landing in Owyhee', 'Captain Cook at the Island of Otaheite', 'Attack by the Indians' and 'Captain Burney discovering his murdered shipmates'

twelve signed 'Robert Cruikshank', ten inscribed with titles; watercolour, unframed
3¾ x 5 7/8in. (96 x 148mm.) and smaller (13)

Lot Essay

Some of Cruikshank's illustrations clearly refer to the work of artists such as Parkinson and Webber on Cook's three voyages ('Otaheite' (wrongly titled) from Parkinson's 'View in the Island of Huaheine', R. Joppien and B. Smith, The Art of Captain Cook's Voyages, New Haven and London, 1985, I, nos. 1.70-1.71, 'Otaheiteans' from Webber's 'A Dance at Otaheite', R. Joppien and B. Smith, op. cit., III, (Catalogue), nos. 3.102-3104A, and another watercolour titled 'Otaheite' from Webber's 'The Body of Tee, A Chief, as preserved after Death in Otaheite', ibid., III, nos. 3.109-3110A. Rüdiger Joppien in a letter dated 22 May 1995 adds: 'Their general nature is apparently that of a set of illustrations, possibly for a book on South Sea Voyages presumably of the 1820s. Other sources than Cook have also been used, there is one drawing where a captain is greeted by an Indian lady with a branch, which harks back to Hawkesworth's edition of South Sea Voyages of 1773.' and adds that the "sensational" aspect of most of the images
suggests they were destined for book illustration, perhaps for one of
the many series of children's books of discoveries.

Cruikshank began his career in the Navy and later collaborated on
illustrations with his brother, the caricaturist and illustrator George Cruikshank (1792-1878)
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