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Museum catalogue: Polar Art Collection


The Arctic Council

Accession no.: N: 277
Object name: Engraving
Title: The Arctic Council
Description: Steel engraving of the Arctic Council, discussing plan for search for Sir John Franklin, by James Scott after a painting by Stephen Pearce.
Medium: Engraving
Artist: Pearce, Stephen
Note: Original oil on canvas (1175 x 1833mm), completed in 1851, is now in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery. It was bequeathed by one of the sitters, John Barrow jnr, in 1899. The painting was first exhibited in 1851, taken by command to Buckingham Palace for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to view it. It was later displayed at the Royal Academy and other venues. Other subjects in this imagined scene are Sir George Back, Sir Francis Beaufort, Frederick William Beechey, Edward Bird, William Alexander Baillie Hamilton, Sir William Edward Parry, Sir John Richardson, Sir James Clark Ross and Sir Edward Sabine. On the wall behind them are three portraits of other polar worthies: John Barrow senior, Captain James Fitzjames and Sir John Franklin himself. The painting was a popular one and helped maintain interest in the search effort. Many engravings and other souvenir images were made, including a microphotograph by Manchester optician John Benjamin Dancer. See also N: 971.
  • Width: 970mm, height: 665mm