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Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

James Cook (1728-1779), Circumnavigator

Mariner; made voyages to the South Pacific 1768-71 (in the Endeavour) and 1772-75 (Resolution), and to the North Pacific 1776-79 (Resolution), when he was murdered by natives at Hawaii; commander 1771; captain 1775; FRS 1776; ‘[my] ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for man to go’ (Cook’s Journals).

‘He was certainly six feet. I should rather guess that he exceeded that height. He was raw boned, with a very small head, and capable of enduring the greatest fatigue’ (Molesworth Phillips, 1826).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.