Friday, July 15, 2011

HMS Terror found

New Franklin discovery! HMS Terror found!

Well, not the actual ship, of course.

A previously unknown painting of HMS Terror , by non other than Royal Navy artist-turned-admiral Sir George Back, has been discovered and is to be auctioned off in September. They are expecting the painting to fetch $25,000.

It's a beautiful and dramatic watercolour as you can see above. Back painted it (or, more likely, sketched it before painting it later back in England) during his trouble-plagued voyage to Hudson Bay in 1836. That expedition was to cross the Melville Peninsula overland and explore the opposite shore. After being beset and nearly crushed against rock cliff outcrops and colliding with icebergs on the voyage home, HMS Terror was sinking when it was beached in Ireland in 1837.

The painting had been in the Back family until its owner passed away and the estate discovered it.

Who knows. Maybe the original will have been found by the time it goes to auction.

Painting of lost Arctic vessel HMS Terror comes to light after 175 years
By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News July 14, 2011 1:55 PM

A dramatic and previously unknown watercolour scene of Canada painted during the golden age of Arctic exploration by that era's most legendary artist has come to light in Britain after 175 years.

The image of an enormous iceberg towering above the famous Arctic expedition ship HMS Terror and one of its rowboats was painted by Royal Navy artist-turned-admiral George Back, who captained the vessel during a trouble-plagued voyage to Hudson Bay in 1836.

The painting, which has emerged from the obscurity of a Back family collection to be auctioned in London by Bonhams, is expected to fetch up to $25,000 at a maritime art sale in September.

By then, the very ship depicted in Back's long-lost painting may have been located lying on the Arctic seabed in western Nunavut.

Parks Canada announced earlier this month that it will undertake a new search in August to locate the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition รข€” the Terror and its sister vessel HMS Erebus, which were sunk by pack ice during a disastrous voyage led in the 1840s by Back's friend and mentor, Sir John Franklin.


David Farmer said...

Oh my, you had my complete attention there looking at the link from Russell Potter's blog! The painting is beautiful and I am happy it's been found and recognized for what it is.

I hope that whomever or whatever institution wins the auction will place it on display, at lend it to be displayed for public viewing.

Ted Betts said...

Yes, a bit cheeky of me, I admit.

Anonymous said...

Who the fuck cares!? Gay sailors on a gay trip to the gay arctic. Gay CANADA. Th