William Hodges is known for his paintings of Indian subjects and for his important work as the official artist on board the ‘Resolution’ during Captain Cook’s second expedition to the South Pacific between 1772 and 1775. He was apprenticed to the British landscape painter Richard Wilson and was relatively unknown when he was chosen to accompany Cook; on his return, the Admiralty commissioned him to produce paintings based on his work in the South Pacific. Hodges was made a Royal Academician in 1787, the same year in which this painting was exhibited. His career coincided with both the expansion of British imperialism and colonial presence and the development of the British art world following the founding in 1768 of the Royal Academy.
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