Panorama of Eimeo [Moorea], Society Islands

No. 16 in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849 - 52. A fold-out panoramic outline drawing on five joined sheets, of which the second from right is stuck to the album page. Eimeo is one of the 18th- and 19th-century Western spellings of the former local name for the island now called Moorea, in the Windward group of the Society Islands. It is 17 km north-west of Tahiti, and was annexed just a year after it by France, in 1843. It is of volcanic origin and approximately heart-shaped, with a north side and the other two orientated south-west and south-east. The highest point is Mount Tohivea (1207 m) in the south-east corner. Like John Webber before him, on Cook's last voyage, Fanshawe shows the south-eastern aspect towards Tahiti, in a dramatic and impressively well drawn panorama. His ship, 'Daphne', is to the left within the reef's main entrance. The harbour of Taloo, with the main settlement, Afareaitu, is in the centre. 'Daphne' arrived on 26 August and left on the evening of the 27th, after Fanshawe had been ashore. He noted that the French had recently constructed a heavy battery directly opposite the entry to the lagoon, possibly hidden here by the ship, and on 1 September mentioned this drawing in a letter to his wife: 'it is difficult to conceive a more beautiful island. I have a sketch of the harbour which is intended on some future day to give you some faint notion if it...' (Fanshawe [1904] p. 199). This is one of a group of 11 Fanshawe drawings of the Society Islands, PAI4616 - PAI426, made while he commanded the 'Daphne' in the Pacific: three are of Moorea (PAI4617, PAI4621-PAI6622).

Object Details

ID: PAI4621
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Fanshawe, Edward Gennys
Places: Moorea
Date made: 27 Aug 1849
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 175 x 257 mm
Parts: Album of watercolours of Madeira, Brazil, the Falkland and Pacific Islands, Chile, Panama, Mexico, Vancouver, and California (Album)

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