This painting is by Charlotte Youmans, a Wellington artist, born in 1869.  It was completed in 1896, when Charlotte was 27.  The church by then was 30 years old.  The painting shows the view across the pews to the apse and altar.

There are a number of differences to the current view of the church – firstly it shows the earlier pulpit, which was replaced by the Seddon pulpit donated after Richard John Seddon in 1906.  Also, note the eagle lectern is placed on the left of the centre aisle, close to the pulpit, and the curtains over the bottom of the sanctuary windows.

This painting was exhibited at the Auckland Society of Arts Exhibition in 1898 – the newspaper report of the exhibition assessed the painting to have ‘a fair understanding of perspective.  The principle good quality of the picture is in the colouring’.

Charlotte Youmans painting of St Pauls, 1869

Image: Youmans, Charlotte Beatrice, b.1869 :Interior of St Pauls Cathedral, Wellington. 1896. Ref: C-119-001. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.