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Captn James Cook F.R.S. Painted at the Cape of Good Hope by J Webber


Object connections:

User collections Captain Cook's Third Voyage by NMMCollections
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Cook, James

Object details:

Object ID PAF3441
Description From the bust-length oil done at the Cape of Good Hope in 1776 and now in the National Portrait Gallery, London. On 14 January 1824, the Secretary of Greenwich Hospital, E. H. Locker, reported to the Hospital board (see TNA ADM67/73 pp. 8-9) that among other works he had solicited for the proposed Naval Gallery in the Painted Hall (which opened in April) he had received an offer of a Webber portrait of Cook from Mrs Cook, who had the three-quarter-length version based on this image. The offers were all accepted, but Mrs Cook's was probably a promissory one (which was not unusual); that is, for it to be received after her death, since it did not come either in 1824 or in the next few years. Then, in 1829, Locker persuaded Lady Banks's executor to present the portrait by Dance (BHC2628), which he seems personally to have shown to Mrs Cook in the Hall from his account of her seeing it there (in his 'The Naval Gallery of Greenwich Hospital...' [1831]). Since the Hospital did not seek unnecessary duplicates it is likely that her offer thereby lapsed and, some time before her death in 1835, she probably passed her version to Cook's nephew, the north-eastern merchant captain and ship owner, John Fleck (see BHC2320, though he also died in 1835). His own first ship, built at Sunderland in 1826 was called 'Captain Cook', and he appears to have visited her in London in the course of his normal voyaging. It was later bought from his descendants by the Middlesbrough iron master Henry Bolckow, who added Cook material to his more general collection of contemporary British art, much of it at his country house near Marton (Cook's birthplace), which he completed in 1853. A Bolckow descendant later gave it to Marton parish church but it was eventually sold and is now in the New Zealand National Portrait Gallery. A half-length version is in the Australian National Portrait Gallery.
Date made 4 Jun 1784

Artist/Maker Bartolozzi, Francesco
Webber, James
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials aquatint & engraving
Measurements Sheet: 315 x 233 mm; Mount: 556 mm x 405 mm
  • Captn James Cook F.R.S. Painted at the Cape of Good Hope by J Webber (PAF3441)
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