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Sir George Strong Nares

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Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sir George Strong Nares

by Stephen Pearce
1877
50 in. x 40 in. (1270 mm x 1016 mm)
NPG 1212

Inscriptionback to top

Signed (bottom left): STEPHEN PEARCE pinxt
Inscribed on the back of the canvas in the artist's hand: Capt. Sir Geo. S. Nares. RN: KCB: FRS: &c - &c - &c./(in his Arctic dress)/ commanding H.M. Ships "Alert" & "Discovery", 1875-76./This expedition reached latitude 83° 20' 26" - the high-/est yet attained./Painted by Stephen Pearce. 1877./54 Queen Anne Street. Cavendish Square./London.
Inscribed in ink on a label on the back, in the artist's hand: CAPT. SIR GEORGE. S. NARES. RN: KCB. FRS./Commanding H. M. Arctic Ships "Alert" and/"Discovery" 1875-76./Painted by S. PEARCE/54 Queen Anne Street./Cavendish Square.

This portraitback to top

Nares is shown in the costume which he wore on his Arctic expeditions, against an idealized polar landscape, with one of his ships, the 'Alert', which, in an attempt to reach the North Pole by sea, attained the record latitude recorded by Pearce in his inscription.

Referenceback to top

Pearce 1903
S. Pearce, Memories of the Past (1903), pp 88-9.

Physical descriptionback to top

Healthy complexion, greyish eyes, brown hair and whiskers. Dressed in a natural linen overall jumper and overall trousers ('snow-repellers'), brown woollen gloves, greyish sealskin mittens suspended from a brown leather strap around his neck, and a thick black sash; holding a staff in one hand and a grey fur hat in the other. Bluish-white snowscape; sky various tones of grey and brown.

Provenanceback to top

Commissioned or purchased by Colonel John Barrow, and bequeathed by him, 1899.

Exhibitionsback to top

RA, 1877 (85); Royal Naval Exhibition, Chelsea, 1891 (57).

Reproductionsback to top

S. Pearce, Memories of the Past (1903), facing p 86.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1973, 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.

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