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  • Title
    [Death of Captain Cook, ca. 1784] / possibly by John Webber
  • Creator
  • Call number
    DG 26
  • Level of description
  • Date

    [ca. 1781-83?]
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    1 painting - oil on canvas - 83.5 x 109.5 cm. (sight) in frame 109 x 145 cm.

    In 1776, John Webber (1752-1793) was appointed topographical artist on the Resolution and sailed with James Cook on the third voyage, 1776-1780.
  • Access Conditions

    Access to this pictures collection via appointment only. Please submit your request through Ask a Librarian
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright: Creator died before 1955
    Please acknowledge:: Dixson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales
  • General note

    In 1781 Webber announced that he intended to publish an engraving of the death of Captain Cook, to be engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi. He advertised that the 'Drawing was taken on the Spot; the Landscape is from Nature; and the Circumstances of that most unfortunate Event (of which Mr. Webber was an Eye-Witness) are told with the utmost Fidelity." St James Chronicle or the British Evening Post, April 12 1781.
    The engraving was published in 1784 as The Death of Captain Cook: see DL Pf 61 for a version of this engraving in the Library's collection.
    It is unclear if this painting is the basis of the engraving, or if it was made after the engraving, as a copy of it. Webber exhibited and sold a number of oils relating to Pacific voyages after his return to London, but there is no reference to this work: see the Getty Research Institute provenance index https://www.getty.edu/research/tools/provenance/search.html.
    It is possible that this painting is a copy by an unknown artist of Webber's print. Stylistically it does not seem to accord with the quality of Webber's known and confirmed works. This question remains open.
    Digital order no:Album ID : 846251
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    Work is unsigned and undated.
  • Conservation note

    Cleaned Jan 2008
    Frame repaired following minor damage, 2011
  • Subject
  • Topic
  • Place
  • Exhibited in
  • Open Rosetta viewer

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