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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 Sir John Franklin, Kt, KCH, KRG, DCL, FRS & c. Commander of the Arctic Expedition, 1845

c. 1847
Thomas Phillips, an unknown artist (engraver) and D Bogue (publisher)

engraving on paper (sheet: 23.4 cm x 13.0 cm, image: 11.8 cm x 8.7 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

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Thomas Phillips

D Bogue

Sir John Franklin (age 61 in 1847)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

Loretta Pash (40 portraits)

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The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
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The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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