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Kamehameha III

Kamehameha III

Artist: Robert Dampier (British, 1800 - 1874)

Object number: 1066.1
Geography:Great Britain
Date: 1825
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Image: 23 1/4 × 19 5/8 in. (59.1 × 49.8 cm)
Stretcher: 24 1/4 × 20 1/8 in. (61.6 × 51.1 cm)
Frame: 29 × 25 in. (73.7 × 63.5 cm)
Signed: R. Dampier
Label Text:Robert Dampier was the official artist on the voyage HMS Blonde, which sailed to Hawai'i in 1825 with the bodies of King Kamehameha II and his queen Kamamalu, who died in England after contracting measles. In Hawai'i, Dampier painted the younger brother and sister of Kamehameha II: Kamehameha III and Nahi'ena'ena. Posed as the monarch he was destined to become, young Kamehameha stands regally in a verdant setting, the small settlement of Honolulu Fort just visible beyond the banana trees that frame him. Holding a spear, he is draped in a traditional feather garment, which conceals the Western-style clothing that he actually wore and which the royal family preferred. Kamehameha III reigned from 1825 to 1854, during which time he oversaw Hawai'i's transition from a feudal society to a constitutional monarchy.
Credit Line: Gift of Eliza Lefferts Cooke, Charles M. Cooke III, and Carolene Alexander Cooke Wrenn in memory of Dr. C. Montague Cooke, Jr., 1951 (1066.1)