New painting for Rotorua Museum collection

6:39 am on 11 August 2015

An oil painting of renowned Maori singer Ana Matawharua Hato will soon go on display at Rotorua Museum.

Doris Clare Zinkeisen's A Princess from the Antipodes-Maori Princess of Rotorua

Doris Clare Zinkeisen's A Princess from the Antipodes-Maori Princess of Rotorua Photo: Supplied

Ana Matawharua Hato was a guide at Whakarewarewa and a renowned singer who died in 1953 at the age of 45.

She was painted by Scottish artist Doris Clare Zinkeisen in 1927.

The painting, A Princess from the Antipodes-Maori Princess of Rotorua, was bought for Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust's heritage collection by for $30,000.

Art consultant John Perry, who organised the purchase, said his was the only bid because no one really knew the artist and the subject had not been clearly identified at that stage.

"It is just the most striking portrait and shows her very regal and beautiful profile, and in the background is a little whare. She is wearing a headband and in her hair she has a turkey feather and her long hair brushed down.

"It is a beautiful painting and it has been exhibited in Paris and in London, and is a painting with a really interesting exhibition history."

Mr Perry said the painting was bright and full of energy and the spirit of Ana Hato lived on in it.

"Unlike a Goldie, it is not dark and gloomy."

The painting had until now been held in a private collection in the United Kingdom.

Mr Perry said it was wonderful that it had now been brought home.

"I still have not stopped smiling since I bought the painting for the people of Rotorua. It is a real coup and it is every bit as good as a Goldie and at quarter of the price, so I am absolutely stoked."