Augustus Earle (1793-1838) was one of the earliest professional artists to spend time among the Maori, living in the Hokianga and Bay of Islands for eight months during 1827-28. He greatly admired that "splendid race of men" and painted accurate representations of the people and events he witnessed.
Prior to coming to New Zealand he had travelled widely (his adventures including Africa and South America before settling for two years in Sydney), and after leaving New Zealand spent ten months aboard the Beagle with Charles Darwin. One of his paintings of the Bay of Islands was the basis for a Panorama exhibited in London in 1840. Prints of two early views of New Zealand life painted by Earle were published by Christchurch art print publisher Avon Fine Prints.