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Captain Cook. From an original picture by Dance. Engraved by E. Scriven. c1840

Captain Cook. From an original picture by Dance. Engraved by E. Scriven. c1840

by Dance, Nathaniel

Fine antique print of James Cook (1728-1779). Captain Cook. From an original Picture by Dance in the Gallery of Greenwich Hopital. Engraved by the finest portrait engraver of his time, stipple engraver and chalk manner engraver, Edward Scriven (1775-1841), for Portraits illustrative of The Pictorial History of England published in London circa 1840.

This famous engraving  is after the painting “in the Gallery of Greenwich Hospital” by eminent portrait painter, Nathaniel Dance (1735-1811), who was a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768. Sir Joseph Banks commissioned Dance to paint Cook who apparently sat “for a few hours before dinner” on 25 May 1776, prior to departing on his third voyage, from which he did not return. It is unknown if Cook sat for him again, but David Samwell, surgeon’s mate in Resolution on Cook’s second voyage, and surgeon of Discovery on the third voyage, thought it “a most excellent likeness… and… the only one I have seen that nears any resemblance to him”. As Samwell was a great admirer of Cook we have to take his word for it. Sir Joseph Banks who had sailed with Cook on his first voyage in Endeavour and had declared Cook to be the finest man he had ever known, hung Cook’s portrait over the fireplace in his London house. After Banks died his executor presented the portrait to the Naval Gallery at Greenwich Hospital in London.

The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge was established in 1825 with the aim of making good books at low prices available to the working class. Lord Brougham (Henry Peter Brougham) was the main instigator, and became Chairman of the Society, with a very large Committee of eminent people with a wide range of qualifications. The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge produced many well-illustrated publications, including Portraits illustrative of The Pictorial History of England in 1840 with the finest examples of illustrative portraiture, by the best engravers.

Page size: 25 x 16cm (9 7/8 x 6 3/8 inches) Engraving measures 125 x 100mm (4 7/8 x 4 inches).

Stock Number: apPortCCPrice: $220.00

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