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Portrait of Joseph Banks Esq.

Date: 1774
Overall: 795 × 634 × 20 mm, 43 g
Medium: Engraving on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00004855
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    This print was taken from a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds and depicts Joseph Banks Esquire seated at a table with a terrestrial globe, books and papers relating to his time on HMB ENDEAVOUR. Banks is portrayed at the age of 30, just two years after returning from Cook's voyage of discovery in the Pacific. This engraving was printed on 30 January 1774 and helped establish Banks in the world of natural science.
    SignificanceThis engraving is representative of Sir Joseph Banks and his achievements in natural science during the HMB ENDEAVOUR expedition to the Pacific in 1768-1771.
    HistorySir Joseph Banks was born at Westminster, England on 13 February 1743. Schooled at Harrow and Eton he displayed an early interest in the natural sciences and in 1764 after receiving his family's inheritance Banks left Oxford University where he was studying botany and decided to spend his time examining plants in the practical world. In 1766 he joined HMS NIGER as it travelled to Newfoundland and collected many rock and natural specimens on the trip. Banks also conducted a number of field trips collecting and studying plants, historic sites and rock formations. In 1766 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society.

    Banks' most famous survey work was completed as part of the Royal Navy's expedition under Captain James Cook to the Pacific in HMB ENDEAVOUR. Equipped with a large fortune and a wealth of natural history experience Banks was recommended to the British Admiralty by the Royal Society. Banks had a staff of eight in attendance including naturalists Daniel Solander, H D Sporing and the artists Alexander Buchan and Sydney Parkinson. Between 1768 and 1771 Banks and his staff collected large amounts of specimens including seeds, shells, insects, bottled specimens and animals. He took many of the pieces back to England with him which formed an extensive collection of natural history objects.

    Sir Joshua Reynolds' original painting is held in the collection of th National Portrait Gallery, London.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Porträt von Joseph Banks Esq.

    Assigned title: Portret van Joseph Banks Esq.

    Primary title: Portrait of Joseph Banks Esq.

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