Captain James Cook (1728–1779)

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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A head-and-shoulders portrait to left in captain's undress uniform of 1774–1783. The arrangement of his buttons in pairs shows the sitter to be a captain of under three years' seniority. Cook returned from his second Pacific voyage in the rank of Commander on 30 July 1775 and was promoted to Captain on 9 August. This portrait may therefore have been executed by Hodges during the return journey and the uniform finished back in England, or it may all have been done in England before Cook departed on his last voyage on 12 July 1776. Hodges had been the official artist appointed to record the places discovered on Cook's second voyage, undertaken in 'Resolution' and 'Adventure', 1772–1775. However, he was re-employed by the Admiralty immediately on his return, both to work up his sketches for publication in the voyage proceedings and to paint further pictures for them, tasks which occupied him until late 1778.

National Maritime Museum



Captain James Cook (1728–1779)




oil on canvas


H 76.2 x W 63.5 cm

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