||This engraving after a drawing by John Webber comes from the official account of Cook's third voyage, 'A voyage to the Pacific Ocean', published by Scatcherd and Whitaker in 1784.
Captain James Cook (1728-1779) made three separate voyages to the Pacific (with the ships Endeavour, Resolution, Adventure, and Discovery) and did more than any other voyager to explore the Pacific and Southern Ocean. Cook not only encountered Pacific cultures for the first time, but also assembled the first large-scale collections of Pacific objects to be brought back to Europe. He was killed in Hawaii in 1779.
John Webber was the artist on Cook’s third voyage from 1776-1780.
Cook's traveled to Prince William Sound (Sandwich Sound), Alaska, from May 12-20, 1778. Thick and foggy weather prevailed, and the countryside was found to be rather inhospitable. As written by Samwell: 'The country all round having a very desolate and dreary appearance being almost entirely covered with snow we did not expect to find it inhabited. However, as soon as the ships arrived, two large canoes with about twenty Indians in each of them, appeared and made signs of a peaceful reception. All of the landscapes from Prince William Sound reflect the miserable weather experience. Pen work and grey sepia wash became the appropriate media, reflecting the grey light of the north Pacific coast.
In this work, Webber shows two ships with Indian canoes around them. Webber's drawing is built upon the dramatic contrast between the forbidding grandeur of the mountains and the minute ships.
This is the first of two such engravings.
Mounted in album with PAI4078-PAI4167, PAI4169-PAI4214.; Page 212.; Plate No. 45.