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Item #: OP4715-941
AORAKI - MOUNT COOK NEW ZEALAND: RARE ORIGINAL OIL PAINTING Artist Duncan Darroch 1888- 1967
By Darroch, Duncan
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Detailed Product Description

Oil Painting of Mount Cook.

Wooden Frame Size 39''x33''. 

Oil on Canvas 32''x26''.


Duncan Darroch was a most unusual artist. He lived at the Hermitage at the base of Mount Cook, and painted primarily oil paintings of Mount Cook. Each painting shows the mountain and valley in different seasons, from full summer to deep winter. While he was alive he sold his art directly to visitors in AORAKI / MOUNT COOK NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND. 


This painting was sold to Lawrence Coveney, an American climber. When he passed away his family sold it to an antique shop in Vermont. We purchased it from the antique shop in 1982.


Coveney served as President of the American Alpine Club from 1965 to 1967. Mr Coveney was friends with Nick Clinch, who had visited Covemey in his Vermont home, and was familiar with the painting. Clinch had aso served as President of the Americam Alpine Club right after Coveney, from 1968 to 1970.



Duncan Daroch painted mountains and seascapes in an realistic and impressionist style and was represented at numerous art gallerices on N and S Islands. His art is still displayed at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, Hermitage. He painted in oils. He bequeathed his chalet, Tighnabruaich, at Mount Cook, to the New Zealand Forest and Bird Protection Society.  


Duncan Darroch was born in Milton, Otago, 50 kilometres to the south of Dunedin, to parents newly arrived from Scotland. He moved to Mt Cook in 1915 where he was a farrier (he shod the horses) for the Mount Cook Company. In the early 1920s Darroch worked for the Union Steam Ship Company visiting every port in New Zealand and traveling to Canada and Britain, painting during his journeys. He trained at the Canterbury College School of Art in 1922, but was largely a self-taught artist preferring to go back to sea and painting what he saw.


When he returned to New Zealand in 1928, Darroch went back to Mt Cook where he worked at the Hermitage, later becoming an honorary ranger for the National Park and a well-known local character. He built a home and studio in a cottage called "Tignabruaich" (the little house on the rise) which was designed to resemble a ship's cabin.


Mountains and the sea were the main subjects of Darroch's work and he was well known as the "Mt Cook painter" for his many versions of Aoraki. Also the huge sailing ship Pamir (one of the last of its kind, as commercial shipping moved to propeller driven vessels) was almost an obsession for Darroch, who followed the ship around New Zealand's ports between the years 1939-45 and painted many canvasses of it.


His work is Post-Impressionist in style, portraying vivid colour and dramatic light. The Hochstetter Icefall is part of the Hochstetter Glacier in the Mt Cook region, descending from the Grand Plateau to the Tasman Glacier.


Mailing an oil painting requires special care in packing, so postage charges will be extra. Estimate $50 - $100. 




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