Works included in this catalogue
Gordon-Frazer Benjamin Cowderoy 1890 {1890} SLV? [PA]
Gordon-Frazer John Blyth {1890} Loc? [PA]

Gordon-Frazer travelled widely in the Pacific and South East Asia from 1885 onwards, dying of blackwater fever in Siam (Thailand) at the age of only 36.

Shortly after the two portraits noted above entered the Melbourne collection , his Cannibal Feast on the Island of Tanna, New Hebrides, a much less conventional painting, created a sensation when first shown, at the NGV, in 1891. Table Talk reported that it “…is one of the greatest attractions in the Gallery. It is evident the artist has witnessed the scene he depicts, and all the horrible details are reproduced with starting fidelity.” It was exhibited again in Liverpool in 1895, once again causing a considerable stir.


For the artist, and Cannibal Feast, see and (Bonhams, London, auction on 2 Nov.2004; sold for £32,265). The Bonhams auction catalogue entry includes the quote from Table Talk, 20 Nov.1891 (see above), and also some of the the artist’s own later remarks on the event on which his depiction was based. Neither Bénézit nor AKL list Gordon-Frazer