A beautiful example of this classic image of Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820) as a young man, at the height of his celebrity, is based on the portrait by Sir Joseph Reynolds for whom Banks first sat in 1772 and again, after his voyage to Iceland, in 1773. Twenty-eight or twenty-nine years old at the time, Banks had returned Cook’s First Voyage in 1771 and was feted throughout Europe.
Sitting confidently, one hand rests on a pile of scientific papers, an inscription upon which reads ‘cras ingens iterabimus aequor’ (from Horace’s Odes and translated as ‘tomorrow we’ll sail the vasty deep again’). This inscription reveals Banks’ ambition for further adventures, however the mezzotint was published after Cook’s departure on his Second Voyage in May 1772 without Banks, after the Admiralty had rejected Banks’s request for an extra deck to be constructed on board the Resolution for himself, his team and their equipment.
Fine mezzotint engraving, 500 x 355mm (plate size), 705 by 520mm (sheet size), mounted.
Stock ID: 98644