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Captain Sir James Clark Ross

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Ross, James Clark

Object details:

Object ID BHC2979
Description A three-quarter length posthumous portrait of the explorer wearing captain’s undress uniform. Ross is shown seated at a table next to a standing globe on his left. His right arm rests on a chart and behind him on the table are various navigational instruments. Behind him is a chart on the wall bearing the legend ‘South Polar Discovery 1841-42’. A nephew of the arctic explorer Sir John Ross, Clark Ross entered the navy under his auspices. He subsequently went on Parry’s arctic expeditions of 1819-20; 1821-23; 1824-25; 1827. In the Felix Booth expedition of 1829-33 he accompanied his uncle and was the actual discoverer of the magnetic pole. In 1839 he surveyed the Antarctic, commanding the ‘Erebus’ and ‘Terror’ on one of the earliest Antarctic expeditions. He was away for four years and was knighted on his return. From 1848-49 his last service was to command one of the search expeditions to find Sir John Franklin. The portrait was posthumously painted in 1871. The likeness for the head was taken by the artist from sketches and from his earlier painting of the Arctic Council painted in 1853. It was presented to Greenwich Hospital Collection by several naval officers and scientists in 1872 in honour of the admiral’s services to arctic exploration.
Date made 1871

Artist/Maker Stephen Pearce, Stephen
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Frame: 1637 mm x 1387 mm x 140 mm;Painting: 1275 mm x 1025 mm
  • Captain Sir James Clark Ross (BHC2979)
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