23 Jul 2015

Simpson and his Donkey painting sells for $420k

7:45 am on 23 July 2015

The famous Gallipoli watercolour, Simpson and his Donkey, looks set to stay in New Zealand after a local purchased it at auction for $420,000.

Simpson and his Donkey.

The painting of 'Simpson and his Donkey'. Photo: Supplied

The painting by Horace Moore-Jones depicts a medic taking a badly wounded soldier to a first aid post by donkey.

The International Art Centre was expecting the watercolour to sell for up to $500,000 and the photo for $20,000.

In the end the painting went for $420,000 and the photograph $32,000, and both were sold to a local man who was expected to keep them in New Zealand.

The version sold last night was the biggest of five or six versions versions of the scene created.

A smaller version of the scene sold earlier this year for $257,000.

Horace Moore-Jones thought one of the men in the picture was an Australian medic named Simpson.

He died before it was discovered in the 1930s that the medic was actually New Zealander Richard Henderson.

Simpson and his Donkey photo

The photo that the painting was based on. Photo: Supplied

Despite that, it still goes by its old name.

The original photograph on which the painting was based was taken by James Gardiner Jackson of Dunedin.