James Peele

Aotearoa New Zealand / Australia, b.1846, d.1905

Pack Train, Ocean Beach

  • Oil on canvas
  • Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation Collection, purchased 1996
  • 690 x 1030mm
  • L86/98

In the 19th century pack horses were frequently used for the transport of goods around New Zealand. As much of the country was covered with forest and scrubland the beach at low tide provided a simple and convenient route for the pack trains. Painted in what is known as the Romantic Realist style this scene well captures the wild foreshore along which this small convoy passes.

Pack Train Ocean Beach was painted in 1884, before his studies in Melbourne and exhibited the following year at the Canterbury Society of Arts. It was purchased by the Society for its collection in 1885 and, as a recognition of Peele's ability as an artist, was exhibited at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London.