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Museum catalogue: Polar Art Collection


The Arctic Council


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Accession no.: N: 971
Object name: Engraving
Title: The Arctic Council
Description: Engraving of painting by Stephen Pearce of meeting of the 'Arctic Council,' with signatures of his sitters in pencil: George Back, William Edward Parry, Edward Bird, James Clark Ross, John Barrow Jnr, Francis Beaufort, Edward Sabine, William Alexander Baillie Hamilton, John Richardson, and Frederick William Beechey.
Medium: Engraving
Artist: Pearce, Stephen
Note: The engraving is also signed by the artist. Stephen Pearce's remarkable composition, completed in 1851, depicts a group of experts discussing how best to locate the missing polar explorer, Sir John Franklin. The portrait was commissioned by John Barrow Jnr, and on completion it was taken by command to Buckingham Palace for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to see. It was then widely exhibited throughout the United Kingdom to raise subscribers for the steel engraving by James Scott. The ten men, including five in naval uniform and one in army uniform, gather around a table on which charts and papers are spread as they discuss how to find Franklin, who, unknown to them, had died on 11 June 1847. On the wall behind are three additional portraits: John Barrow senior, Franklin himself, and Captain James Fitzjames. See also N: 277.
  • Picture: Width: 970mm, height: 665mm
  • mount: Width: 980mm, height: 755mm
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