Sir John Ross
5 of 17 portraits by James Green
- Extended catalogue entry
Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue
Sir John Ross
by James Green
52 in. x 43 3/4 in. (1321 mm x 1111 mm)
This portraitback to top
According to the vendor (letter of 13 July 1870, NPG archives), this portrait was painted immediately on Ross' return from his last expedition; this must refer to Ross' expedition of 1829-33 in search of the North-West Passage, and not to his later expedition in search of Franklin, 1850-1. Ross returned to England from the Arctic in October 1833. He is shown in the full dress naval uniform of a commander of the period, 1833-43; the cuff is not quite correct, but follows a fairly common variant form. The cap is apparently unofficial. Ross is wearing the class badge of the Swedish order of the Sword, awarded him for his service in the Baltic. 
Footnotesback to top
Physical descriptionback to top
Healthy complexion, blue eyes, sandy hair. Dressed in a black stock, white shirt, and dark blue naval uniform, with red and gold-braided collar, epaulettes and cuffs, a white and gold order suspended from a blue and yellow silk ribbon, a blue and gilt sword belt, in which is tucked a fur cap (?), and a large fur skin draped over one shoulder and around the back of his body. He is holding in one hand a brown glove, and a blue cap with a red lining and a gilt band and tassel, and in the other a brown wooden spear tipped with steel. He is leaning on the brown wooden prow of a rowing boat, secured by a rope. He is shown against a white Arctic landscape.
Provenanceback to top
The artist; purchased from his son, B. R. Green, 1870.
Exhibitionsback to top
RA, 1834 (330).
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.
View all known portraits for Sir John Ross