This watercolour was painted by an unknown artist based on the engravings featured in Cook's official account of his second voyage published in 1777, ‘A voyage towards the South Pole, and round the World. Performed in His Majesty's ships the Resolution and Adventure, in the years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775’.
The original image was sketched by William Hodges, who accompanied Captain Cook on his second voyage as the expedition's artist. Many of his views were later reproduced as oil paintings or as engravings in published accounts of Cook's voyages and discoveries.
SignificanceA secondary watercolour based on a well-known original by Hodges, this work reflects contemporary interest in Cook’s voyages and a wish to be associated with his success.
HistoryUnlike the account of the ENDEAVOUR voyage (published by journalist John Hawkesworth) or the posthumous account of his final voyage (compiled by Lieutenant James King), the book 'A voyage towards the South Pole and round the world performed in His Majesty's Ships RESOLUTION and ADVENTURE' was written by Cook at the height of his fame. The two volume work was an instant best seller when it appeared in 1777 and quite apart from the financial rewards it brought Cook at the time, the account secured Cook's place in history for all future generations.