Mr. Pearce also exhibited,
the same year, a portrait of Macdonald, of Rome, whose statues
are not less gazed at, not only at the Great Exhibition, but
in Lord Ward's Gallery, so liberally opened at the Egyptian Hall.
If Mr. Pearce had painted no other portraits than these two eminent
sculptors (which he painted, we understand, when studying in
Rome), they would have been sufficient to point him out as one
of the many rising young men in his profession.
The present picture we consider
to be equal to anything of the description which hasbeen attempted
of late years, and not inferior to the Waterloo Heroes; indeed,
it may in some respects, be considered a counterpart to it- "Peace
and War". The one representing the great and illustrious
men who, in time of peace, and immediately on the cessation of
hostilities, went forth to raise the glory of the nation by pushing
their discoveries into parts unexplored by the foot of man, amidst
the vast and desolate regions of everlasting snow and ice. Of
the dangers, difficulties, and sufferings eured by these brave
men, few we imagine, are ignorant. Of te dangers we need only
remind our readers of the awful mystery overhanging the fate
of the good and gallant Sir John Franklin and his noble band
of officers and seamen, the very choice of the service; but we
have never despaired of them, and with so many daring spirits
afloat in search of them we still look forward to their happy
deliverance from the perils with which they are now surrounded.
"The Arctic Council" are represented in deliberation
upon a scheme of search for Sir John Franklin for submission
to the Lords of the Admiralty, with whom nominally rests the
sending forth of the several expeditions which have left our
The principle portraits in Mr. Pearce's picture may be considered
those of the Arctic officer, who are all in uniform, to distinguish
them, we conclude, from the others. They are represented round
a table, at which Sir Francis Beaufort is seated in ernest conversation
with Sir John Richardson, who, (just retrned from his journeyto
the shores of the Polar Sea, in search of his former compagnon
de voyage Sir John Franklin), is here energetically pointing
to those very shores. On the right of Sir Francis Beaufort are
two admirable portraits of Sir James Ross and Captain Bird, who
served together in the Arctic Seas; and to the right of them
again stands the commanding figure of Sir Edward Parry, the first
and foremost man in Arctic discovery - and Sir George Back, whose
name is imperishably written on the page of Arctic history. To
the left of Sir Francis Beaufort is Colonel Sabine, of the Royal
Artillery, who was upon all the early Arctic voyages, and whose
valuable contributions to science are too well known to be more
than alluded to here; and Captain Beechy, who was also upon all
the early Arctic voyages, and subsequently in command of the
Blossom, in Behring's Straits. Captain Hamilton, the Secretary
of the Admiralty, and Mr. Barrow are also here represented, for
both have taken a prominant part of everything Arctic. On the
walls are portraits of Sir John Franklin, Captain Fitzjames,
and Sir John Barrow.
Her Majesty and His Royal Highness Prince Albert honoured Mr.
Stephen Pearce by inspecting it at Buckingham Palace, on Thursday
last, and by command head the lists for the engraving about to
be published by Messrs. Graves, of Pall-mall.
- The Morning Herald, July 7th, 1851.
The Arctic Council - an historical picture bearing this denomination
has been for a short time past on view at the gallery of Henry
Graves and Co., 6, Pall-mall. THe subject is one that at the
present moment possesses an all-absorbing interest: it represents
ten of the most eminent and enterprising British navigators assembled
around a table, discussing the measures best to be adopted for
the discovery and recovery of Sir John Franklin and his gallant
associates, now so long missing in the Arctic regions. The painting
is by Stephen Pearce, Esq., and is dedicated to Lady Franklin,
the exemplary and affectionate wife of the intrepid mariner.
Grouped around the board are all the great Arctic "explorers,"
the utmost interest and anxiety depicted in their countenances
for the fate of their brother officers and friends; on the table
lies a chart of the polar regions, and each officer appears to
be giving his opinion as to the probability of Sir John's "whereabouts"
at the present period; the sdness and dejection of some of the
faces but too clearly indicate to the spectator the gloomy forebodings
which trouble their breasts; whilst on the other hand, the gleam
of hope beaming beaming on some of the counternances, more especially
the fine intellectual one of Captain Beechy, affords mch more
pleasurable materialfor thinking as to the fate of the dauntless
navigator. The contemplative attitude of Captain Baillie Hamilton,
Secretary to the Admiralty, is finely concieved and most artistically
executed. Were the picture a much inferior work of art than it
is, there are certain associations connected with the subject,
which must render it a matter of considerable interest to the
British public. Having paid our visit, we should say "Reader
go thou and do likewise." - Sunday Times, July 20, 1851.
The Arctic Council, Graves and Co., Pall Mall.
This historical picture of the Arctic Council discussing the
plan of search for Sir John Franklin, has been engraved in the
finest style, and published by Messrs. Graves, from a painting
by Mr. Pearce, of erners Street, which was i the last Exhibition
of the Royal Academy, and then attracted much attention. There
is great skill