Sir William Fox

Aotearoa New Zealand / British, b.1812, d.1893

Franz Josef Glacier

The Franz Josef glacier is located in Westland National Park on the West Coast of the South Island. William Fox painted a number of glacier scenes during a trip to the area when he was in his third term as New Zealand’s Prime Minister.

Fox initially studied as a lawyer and he is unlikely to have had any formal art training. However, his work as a surveyor required him to make sketches of the new land. He has painted this work with carefully controlled watercolour washes, typical of his typographical work, and he has captured something of the grandeur of the glacier and the mountains beyond.

Born in Durham, England, Fox studied law in London. He married Sarah Halcomb in 1842, the same year they emigrated to New Zealand. As an early artist-surveyor and resident agent for the New Zealand Company, Fox explored many of the country’s remote areas.