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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 Franklin RN, 1825

an unknown artist

engraving on paper (sheet: 21.5 cm x 12.8 cm, image: 7.7 cm x 6.2 cm)

Sir John Franklin (1786-1847), Arctic explorer and governor, served under Matthew Flinders on the Investigator and later said that this experience fired his passion for exploration. After fighting in the Bellerophon at Trafalgar, in 1818 he made his first Arctic voyage, a fruitless expedition to locate the Northwest Passage, a sea route linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He ventured to the Arctic again in 1819, leading a three year, 8000 kilometre expedition across Canada, following which he became a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. From 1824 to 1828 he commanded another expedition to the Arctic which was rewarded with a knighthood, an honorary doctorate from Oxford, and the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society of Paris. After 30 years of naval service, he accepted an appointment as lieutenant-governor of Tasmania, arriving in Hobart in 1837. Franklin, his second wife Jane (nee Griffin, 1791-1875) and his private secretary Alexander Maconochie brought progressive ideas about the cultural development of the colony and the reformation of the penal system, but powerful colonists, who profited from convict labour, harried him until he was recalled in 1843. Franklin disappeared on his final expedition to the Arctic in 1845. Jane Franklin sponsored four expeditions to find him before it was eventually established that he and all of his crew had perished.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Ted and Gina Gregg 2012

Accession number: 2012.68

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Sir John Franklin (age 39 in 1825)

Donated by

Loretta Pash (40 portraits)

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.

Mary Ann Lawrence, 1841
Mary Ann Lawrence, 1841
Mary Ann Lawrence, 1841
Mary Ann Lawrence, 1841

Fits of delicacy and despair

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Henry Mundy's portraits flesh out notions of propriety and good taste in a convict colony.

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Phone +61 2 6102 7000
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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.