The Death of Captain Cook. COOK: THIRD VOYAGE, John WEBBER, , RNE, Francesco BARTOLOZZI.

The Death of Captain Cook.

London: J. Webber, 1 January 1784.

Engraving, 425 x 575 mm. (image size), with the caption; a fine, strong impression, mounted.

Webber's famous depiction

The rare first appearance of the Bartolozzi rendering of John Webber's famous depiction of Cook's death. This is the largest version of the image, separately issued in January 1784.

The rare first appearance of the Bartolozzi rendering of John Webber's famous depiction of Cook's death. This is the largest version of the image, separately issued in January 1784.

John Webber was one of the most accomplished of all of Cook's artists, and although not an eye-witness to the specifics of Cook's death at Kealakekua Bay, he was aboard ship in the bay at the time, and it is scarcely surprising that on his return he painted his own version of the most famous event in the entire voyage. Indeed, he is known to have completed at least two versions, the first in watercolours and the second in oils. Although several different depictions of the scene in Hawaii were current, Webber's is perhaps the most famous version of this cataclysmic event. Reflecting the general opinion prevailing in published accounts of the voyage, the image, as Joppien and Smith argue, shows Cook as 'an innocent victim, killed in the act of pleading for peace'.

Two leading artists worked on the separately issued engraving; Francesco Bartolozzi was responsible for the figures and William Byrne the accompanying landscape.

Beddie, 2603; Joppien & Smith, 3.305A; Nan Kivell, p. 80.

Price (AUD): $18,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #3907241