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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

New Article: Journal for Maritime Research

‘Icebergs’ and other recent discoveries in paintings from Cook’s second voyage by William Hodges

A new article in the March edition of the JMR looks particularly interesting. Especially to those interested in how primary sources were not so primary after all. Turns out the paintings, which have been taken for documenation, were probably edited to fit contemporary tastes.

Here's the abstract from the website:
Hodges was official landscape artist on Cook’s second Pacific voyage, 1772–75 and therefore the first professional painter to see both the tropical south-central Pacific and the Antarctic ice of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic sectors of the Southern Ocean. This note reports previously unrecorded features of several of his resulting works, discovered during their preparation for a 2004 exhibition of Hodges’ work at the National Maritime Museum. Raking light examination and X-radiography revealed significant hidden information, including variant title inscriptions and an unfinished view of Antarctic icebergs. These details challenge the accepted chronology of Hodges’ work and suggest that a more systematic re-examination of his Pacific paintings is still needed to reveal the full extent of their hidden information.

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