Portrait of Capt. James Cook
WEBBER, John, engraved by Francesco BARTOLOZZI
Price: 5,500.00 AUD
London: J.Webber, June 4, 1784. Stipple engraving, oval 120 x 95 mm. a proof before letters; mounted. A Proof impression before letters of John Webber's and Francesco Bartolozzi's fine oval portrait of Captain Cook. This portrait has a very large margin, unusual for this decorative oval shape, which is perhaps more often seen clipped to fit an oval frame. The original portrait of Cook was painted by Webber in 1776 and has been in the National Portrait Gallery in London since 1858. Webber had collaborated with Bartolozzi earlier in 1784 to execute his famous depiction of the death of Cook, and the relationship was evidently a happy one, as they also issued the rare oval version of the depiction of Cook's death as well as this portrait. It is fair to say that the original painting of Cook has not met with universal acclaim: Beaglehole claims that on first viewing his wife exclaimed 'Who is that low villain?' (Beaglehole, On the Character of Captain James Cook, p. 418).Born in Florence in 1728, Bartolozzi arrived in 1764 in England where he worked for the next three decades. He introduced the vogue of "stippled" engraving and this portrait is a particularly good example of his work. It is rare to find any material relating to Cook's famous Pacific voyages, or to Cook himself in a Proof state as offered here. very good.