Commander James Clark Ross (1800–1862)

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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A three-quarter-length portrait slightly to left, head turned to right. Ross looks towards the right and directs his gaze out of the picture space. Although the insignia on the epaulettes is obscured so that his rank is not clear from the uniform, the early 1834 exhibition date and title of the painting confirms he is shown as a commander, since he was only promoted to captain in October that year. Draped over his left shoulder he wears a bear's skin. In his right hand he holds a sheathed sword by its scabbard across his front. The Pole Star shines in the sky top right and in the lower right corner of the painting a magnetic dip-circle sits on a table. Most of the background is either dark sky or the inhospitable rocky terrain of the Canadian Arctic.

National Maritime Museum



Commander James Clark Ross (1800–1862)




oil on canvas


H 144.2 x W 112 cm

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