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Behind the Brush Series 1
Format: Documentary Series
Length: 7 x 26 minute episode
Broadcaster: Maori Television
They are some of the most fascinating characters of our history, yet few know who they are. These are the stories of Māori painted by the artist Gottfried Lindauer.
Over seven episodes, the personal stories of twenty-one tūpuna are presented with startling honesty by their descendants.
From the chief who skied off a shark; to the wife who taught her husband never to stray again - only after eating did she inform him the meal was his mistress; Behind The Brush offers a portal into a very different history. These are not portraits pondering twilight.They are larger than life and their actions would shape a nation.
One ancestor led an elite death squad. But it was his business acumen which founded estates worth millions today. Another was attacked by an enraged widow who gouged out his eye. He married her.
Many portraits will ring familiarity. Their images have been reproduced worldwide across galleries, merchandise, post cards and stamp collections for more than a century.
But who they really are has remained locked in canvas.