A superbly colored copy of Cleverley's depiction of the death of Captain Cook, from the collection of the Regent King Charles of the Belgians.
Although the attribution of this image to Cleverley has been questioned, it is generally believed that it originated with James Cleverley, an eye-witness to Cook's death, who was a ship's carpenter on the Resolution on Cook's third voyage. The scene was then refined and drawn by his brother John and expertly engraved by Jukes. The print is one of four views of the South Seas originally issued together by Thomas Martyn. The four views, and especially the Cook print, "may be read as a new development in the imagery of cultural contact …. It is the excitement in the voyage itself that is being celebrated in the Cleverley drawings, the voyage from the point of view of the men who manned the ships, a kind of British broadsheet art that was eminently suited to begin the preparation of the nation for its great nineteenth-century imperial adventure. But it was not, paradoxically, an outward-looking art, that sought to embrace the strange; no longer an art of information or curiosity …. Topographical art had begun to turn inward upon itself to enjoy, perhaps a little self-indulgently, the personal excitements of the imperial adventure" (Joppien & Smith).
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