A set of six watercolours of Easter Island

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A set of six watercolours of Easter Island

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Teddy Millington Drake,
Watercolour on paper. Recently re-framed behind museum glass.

Signed, Teddy Millington Drake, 1986.
"Everywhere is the wind of heaven; around and above all are boundless sea and sky, infinite space and a great silence. The dweller there is ever listening for he knows not what, feeling unconsciously that he is in the antechamber to something yet more vast which is just beyond his ken.'
Mrs Scoresby Routledge, The Mystery of Easter Island, the Story of an Expedition, London 1919

It is the combination of its position, the remotest island the world, and the strange stone sculptures that lie scattered over its landscape, that has made this tiny island in the Pacific so famous. The sculptures known as Moais, were carved from rock on the sides of the extinct volcano Rano ku between the fourth and the late seventeenth century AD. There are two distinct types:
those of the early period AD 400 to 1100, similar to South American sculpture of which few remain; and those of the second period AD 1100 to 1680.
It is believed that these great stone figures, the largest measuring sixty feet, represent the ancestors of the people of Easter Island; they once stood in rows of up to ten on stone terraces, called Ahu of which there are thirty inland and two hundred and sixty built up on the rocks beside the ocean.

The carving of Moais must have been an obsessive, quasi-religious activity which involved a large part of the population. As many as ten thousand could have been working on the quarry, or dragging, pushing, and the Moais to the Ahus. The Moais would then have to be stood vertically, balanced, and crowned their enormous red stone topknots, which came from a different quarry. All this activity suddenly ceased in the latter part of the seventeenth century as a result of civil strife.

Height: 21 in; 53.5 cm
Width: 27 in; 68.5 cm

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