Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

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 Cook

'The photojournalists of their time'

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.

Captain James Cook portrait story
Video: 2 minutes

Images courtesy of the National Library of Australia

an7722572 - A sailing canoe of Otaheite by John Webber, 1809

an7878598 - View in Queen Charlotte’s sound, New Zealand by John Webber,1809

an7881552 - The Resolution beating through the ice, with the Discovery in the most eminent [sic] danger in the distance by John Webber

an7723663 - A view of the harbour of Taloo in the island of Eimeo by John Webber, 1809

The Narta, or sledge for burdens in Kamtchatka by John Webber, 1809
an7723669

ID2137390 - A Toopapoo of a chief, with a priest making his offering to the morai in Huoneine by John Webber, 1809

an7678378 - View in Ulietea by John Webber, 1809

an7678344 - The death of Captain Cook by John Webber, Francesco Bartolozzi; William Byrne date unknown

an7722640-1 - An offering before Capt. Cook in the Sandwich Islands by John Webber, date unknown

Images courtesy of the British Library

His Majesty’s Dock Yard by W. Fielding, date unknown

Image courtesy of Reuters

Baghdad Falls © Goran Tomasevic/Reuters/Picture Media

Video transcript

Show full transcript

2 portraits

1Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber. 2The Death of Captain Cook, 1784 John Webber, Francesco Bartolozzi, William Byrne.

Related information

Betty Churcher on Captain Cook video: 3 minutes
Betty Churcher on Captain Cook video: 3 minutes
Betty Churcher on Captain Cook video: 3 minutes
Betty Churcher on Captain Cook video: 3 minutes

'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.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber

Thrown together

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Shipmates for years, James Cook and Joseph Banks each kept a journal but neither man shed light on their relationship.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber

Cook in context

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2007

Robert Oatley's continuing benefaction has helped the National Portrait Gallery acquire works that add another layer to the story of Captain Cook.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber

Capturing Cook

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2003

In focussing on the importance of gifts in the building of the collection, prominence must be given to the most spectacular of the National Portrait Gallery's acquisitions; the portrait of Captain James Cook RN by John Webber R.A.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.