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Race to the market, Tahiti



Nicholas Chevalier

United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand

09 May 1828 - 15 Mar 1902


Born in Russia, Nicholas Chevalier arrived in Melbourne in 1855 during the gold rush, becoming an illustrator for Melbourne Punch and exploring different parts of the region with his friend Eugene von Guérard. Ten years later Chevalier moved to New Zealand. In 1869 he joined the HMS Galatea as an artist with the Duke of Edinburgh on the voyage to the East and back to London with stops including Tahiti. He remained in London for the rest of his life.

'Race to the market, Tahiti' was produced from that tour, painted from sketches made at Opunohu Bay. The central focus of the composition is Chevalier’s dog, Tuppenny, which figures in many of the artist’s Pacific paintings.


Other Titles

Race to market, Tahiti, Society Islands

Race to Market - Tahiti

Race to Market, Tahiti



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


102.5 x 169.0 cm stretcher; 135.7 x 202.2 x 9.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., black oil "N. Chevalier 1880".


Purchased 1881


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Nicholas Chevalier

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 15 publications


Steven Miller, Dogs in Australian art, 'Löwchen', pg. 140-141, Kent Town, 2012, 140 (colour illus.).

Steven Miller, Look, 'A dog's life', pg. 18-19, Sydney, Dec 2015-Jan 2016, 18, 19 (colour illus.).

Diedrith Newkomer., Illustrated Sydney news, 'Sydney Art Gallery', Sydney, 20 May 1887, page unknown.

Jill Sykes, Look, 'WOOF! WOOF! Australian art history gone to the dogs', pg. 34-35, Sydney, Mar 2010, 35.

Simone Wildhaber-Creux, Swiss artists in Australia 1777-1991, 'Nicholas Chevalier', pg. 53-66, Sydney, 1991, 63 (colour illus.), 111. 63

Exploration and travel: Wednesday 15 September 2010, London, Sep 2010, 2 (colour illus.), 12 (colour illus.), 13 (colour illus.). RELATED WORK: lot no. 12, 'Arcadia, South Seas Islands' 1882. This work is illustrated on page 2 and page 13.

Unknown (Editor), Look, Sydney, Nov 2009, 48 (colour illus.). Members events section highlighting Steven Miller's forthcoming lecture on dogs in art.

Bonhams: Australian & International Fine Art, Monday 22 August 2011, Sydney, Catalogue entry for Lot 32 Nicholas Chevalier 'Arcadia, South Sea Islands', pg. 68-69, Sydney, 2011, 68.

Unknown, A catalogue of Australian oil paintings in the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1875-1952, Sydney, 1953, 43. titled 'Race to market, Tahiti'

Illustrated Sydney news, Sydney, 26 Jul 1888, 16-17 (illus.). titled 'The Race to Market'

Australian & International fine art: Monday 22 August 2011 Sydney, Sydney, 2011, 68 (colour illus.). RELATED WORK: lot no 32, 'Arcadia, South Sea Islands' 1882. This work is illustrated on page 68.

Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1884, Sydney, 1884, 5 (illus.). 9, Oil Paintings, titled 'Race to Market-Tahiti', b&w line illustration

Catalogue descriptive and critical of the Art Gallery with Sydney art notes, Sydney, 1883, 23. titled 'Race to Market'

Sydney mail and New South Wales advertiser, Sydney, 09 Jul 1881.

The Illustrated London News, London, 09 Oct 1880. Full page reproduction