Landing of Captain Cook at Middleburg, Friendly Islands

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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The painting portrays the initial establishment of a contact between peoples of different cultures; the British Navy and the inhabitants of Middleburg in the Friendly Islands. Captain Cook is being taken ashore whilst his ship moors off the coast. An inhabitant of the islands is holding aloft a branch to symbolise peaceful intent to the crew. The inhabitants are depicted as curious and welcoming. The painting powerfully symbolises the moment from which an exchange of cultures may take place.

National Maritime Museum



Landing of Captain Cook at Middleburg, Friendly Islands




oil on canvas


H 45.2 x W 59.8 cm

Accession number


Work type



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National Maritime Museum

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