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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Captain James Cook, engraving after John Webber

1784
Francesco Bartolozzi

engraving on paper (frame: 16.3 cm x 14.2 cm depth 2.3 cm, sight: 12.4 cm x 10.4 cm)

James Cook (1728–1779), maritime explorer, surveyed and claimed the east coast of Australia on the first of his three great voyages of discovery in the Pacific. Almost continually at sea between 1768 and 1779, Cook opened up vast areas that had previously been only tentatively investigated, and charted them with extraordinary accuracy. Accounts produced from his voyages provided Europeans with their first glimpse of the culture, wildlife and geography of lands as diverse as Tahiti and Alaska, and as a result of measures he took to raise standards of hygiene and nutrition on board his ships, there was an appreciable improvement in the health of future British seamen. Cook was killed in an affray with indigenous Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii, on 14 February 1779, after having departed and then returned to make essential repairs.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Robert Oatley AO 2007

Artist and subject

Francesco Bartolozzi (age 57 in 1784)

Captain James Cook RN

Supported by

Mr Robert Oatley AO (7 portraits supported)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

'The portraits of Captain Cook'

An interview with Betty Churcher

Portrait story

Betty Churcher describes the creation of the portrait of Captain James Cook in the National Portrait Gallery.

Captain Cook

'The photojournalists of their time'

Portrait story

An exploration of the role of artists such as John Webber who, whilst a member of Cook’s crew over many voyages, created paintings and drawings of the situations and people the explorers encountered.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency