[Mort Tragique du Capitaine Cook, le 15. Janvier 1779]. John WEBBER, After.

[Mort Tragique du Capitaine Cook…]…
[Mort Tragique du Capitaine Cook, le 15. Janvier 1779].

Paris: chez Isabey, circa 1785.

Engraving, 300 x 220 mm (image size), early proof plate without caption, mounted.

Early proof of the French version

A fine early proof copy of the French version of Webber's famous image, before the caption has been added. The general tone is very light; in later finished forms the print will appear darker. This version is quite striking.

A fine early proof copy of the French version of Webber's famous image, before the caption has been added. The general tone is very light; in later finished forms the print will appear darker. This version is quite striking.

The French edition of the official account of Cook's third voyage did not include an image of his death, although some copies did include an added 'Mort de Cook' plate. Nonetheless, as in England, there was tremendous interest in Webber's scene, and this accomplished engraving was issued by Claude-Mathieu Fessard, a prominent French engraver and book artist. This interim proof does not have any imprint details, but Joppien & Smith confirm that the finished print was sold by Isabey, in the rue de Gesvre, Paris.

The final print, as published, would include a brief biography of Cook and description of his death engraved below the image as a caption (the print itself was dedicated to Bougainville). A copy of the finished engraving is in the Nan Kivell Collection at the National Library of Australia (NK6565). Beddie knew two copies, in the Mitchell and Dixson collections of the State Library of New South Wales.

While Dodd, John Webber and George Carter all produced successful graphic renderings of the scene of Cook's death, it is those by John Webber (the official artist on the voyage) and George Carter which became the most familiar and enduring.

Beddie, 2615.

Condition Report: Fine.

Price (AUD): $3,750.00

US$2,634.26   Other currencies

Ref: #3003088

Condition Report