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HMS Resolution and Discovery at Morea

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art
User collections Captain Cook's Third Voyage by NMMCollections
Gallery locationNot on display
VesselsDiscovery 1774, Resolution (1770)

Object details:

Object ID BHC1896
Description The painting refers to James Cook’s voyage to Tahiti in 1778. In the background the island’s mountains rise into a clouded sky. The bay stretches into the picture space from the right leaving part of the foreground to the depiction of the shore. In the central middle ground HMS ‘Resolution’ and ‘Discovery’ are at anchor, dominating the calm waters. Islanders and Europeans can be seen on boats and among the houses and palm trees exchanging goods. Through his training under the artist Paul Sandby at Woolwich, John Cleveley the Younger was engaged to produce engravings from drawings made on Captain Cook’s second voyage to the South Seas (1772–75). Later, through their brother James, who worked as carpenter on board the ‘Resolution’ on Cook’s third voyage (1776–80), both John and his twin brother Robert had access to some of the artwork produced on it. John had not travelled on either expedition himself, but he quickly attempted to capitalize on the artistic opportunities presented by ready market for South Seas images. He produced ‘HMS Resolution and Discovery at off Hawaii’ (BHC1838) and other similar views for the print market, including one of the death of Cook at Hawaii. Probably based on his brother James’s knowledge of the place, John might have painted this picture sometime between 1780–90.
Date made 1780s

Artist/Maker style of John Cleveley, the Younger
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Presented by Captain A. W. F. Fuller through The Art Fund
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 457 mm x 597 mm: Frame: Storage frame
  • HMS Resolution and Discovery at Morea (BHC1896)
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