Although we don’t know much about Ana Rupene, we understand she was from the Auckland region of New Zealand’s North Island. She is pictured here with her daughter, Huria, on her back in an image that went viral - well as viral got in the late 1800s.
The artist, Gottfried Lindauer, was born in 1839 in Pilsen in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He moved to New Zealand in 1874, where he remained until his death in 1926. This painting is one of many portraits of the Māori he painted there.
This isn’t a unique painting, though. There are plenty of versions of it as you can read in this blog post from Auckland Art Gallery. It unpacks how much (or little) Ana Rupene’s family knew about this image and how far it had spread – in this case, as far as Oxford.
With thanks to The Pitt Rivers Museum and the Art UK website.