NPG 1208 (1b)
Pamphlet issued by the dealer Henry Graves to accompany the publication of the engraving after the portrait of the Arctic Council.
The Arctic Council Discussing A Plan Of Search For Sir John Franklin. - This clever picture, painted by Stephen Pearce, is now publically exhibiting at Messrs. Grave's, Pall-mall, prior to its being engraved in the finest manner. To have produced so fine a painting, Mr. Pearce must have gone through much laborious study, for not only are the portraits carefully finished but the details are touched in the same breadth of light and shadow which distinguish the heads of the whole group. He is, we believe, young, for we remember but four portraits by him in the Royal Academy, although those have not altogether escaped our notice, and we remember being particularly pleased with the portrait of the lamented Wyatt, of Rome, some of whose exquisite works of art are now attracting the attention and admiration of many thousands daily at the Great Exhibition.
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 shores.
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