Gottfried Lindauer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gottfried Lindauer
Gottfried Bohumir Lindauer self portrait.jpg
Born (1839-01-05)5 January 1839
Pilsen, Bohemia, now the Czech Republic
Died 13 June 1926(1926-06-13) (aged 87)
Woodville, New Zealand

Gottfried Lindauer, (5 January 1839[1] – 13 June 1926) was a Bohemian and later a New Zealand artist famous for his portraits, including many of Māori people.[2]

Czech life and Austrian school[edit]

Self-portrait, 1862

He was born Bohumír Lindauer in Plzeň (Pilsen), Western Bohemia, Austrian Empire (now part of the Czech Republic) His father Ignatz Lindauer was a gardener. His first drawing experience were plants and trees. From 1855 Lindauer studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he took classes of Leopold Kupelwieser, Josef Führich and Professor Rohl.[1] To increase his chances on the market, he decided to change his name from the Czech Bohumír to the German translation of his name "Gottfried". From his studio in Pilsen he created paintings with religious themes for churches and painting frescoes in the Cathedral churches of Austria.[1] His paintings attracted people, particularly the prominent people who were often the subjects of his paintings, including Bishop Jieschek, of Budweis, in Bohemia. After a sojourn in that city of eighteen months, he went to Moravia for three years.[1]

New Zealand[edit]

To avoid being drafted to the Austrian military service he left for Germany and in 1874 boarded a boat to New Zealand. Many prominent Māori chiefs commissioned his work, which accurately records their facial tattoos, clothing, ornaments and weapons. A series of life-size portraits of Maori chiefs and warriors exhibited by Sir Walter Buller at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, 1886, were all from Lindauer's hand, who had made the "Maori at home" a subject of special study. One of these, a young Poi dancer without a facial tattoo, was so admired by the Prince of Wales that Buller gifted it to him.[3] After visiting his native land in 1886-87, he settled down at Woodville, near Wellington, having shortly before married Rebecca, the daughter of Benjamin Prance Petty.[1] Lindauer died in 1926 and is buried in the Old Gorge cemetery in Woodville.

Related Information[edit]

  • Lindauer, the #1 New Zealand sparkling wine brand, is named after the artist.
  • See also C. F. Goldie, another artist known for Maori portraits.
  • Lindauer's portrait of Paratene Te Manu is on the cover of the novel Rangatira by Paula Morris. The novel features a number of fictionalized scenes with Lindauer and Paratene, set during the painting of the portrait in 1886.
  • Lindauer's son taught art at Woodville School in the 1920s.


  1. ^ a b c d e Mennell, Philip (1892). "Wikisource link to Lindauer, Gottfried". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource 
  2. ^ "The Artist Gottfried Lindauer". Auckland Art Gallery. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  3. ^ painting record in the Royal Collection
  • Bell, Leonard: Colonial constructs: European images of Maori 1840-1914, Auckland University Press, 1992.
  • Blackley, Roger: "The Shadow Maker: Gottfried Lindauer in Hawke's Bay", Art NZ 119 Winter 2006, p72-76, 91-92.
  • Mason, Ngahiraka: Gottfried Lindauer's New Zealand: The Maori portraits. Auckland University Press, 2016.

External links[edit]