HMS Erebus in the Ice, 1846

This oil painting by the Belgian marine artist François Etienne Musin (1820–1888) refers to HMS ‘Erebus’s’ Arctic venture under the command of Sir John Franklin in 1845. For Franklin’s last journey she had been fitted with a steam engine and a screw propeller and was accompanied by HMS ‘Terror’. In 1848 both vessels were abandoned in the ice.

In this painting Musin shows the vessel surrounded by icebergs, but still in open water. A gloomy sky is only allowing some sunlight unto the scene, causing a stage-like effect in the composition. In the foreground the ship’s crew are busy moving smaller crafts across the ice.

Object Details

ID: BHC3325
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Display - Polar Worlds Gallery
Creator: Musin, Francois Etienne
Vessels: Erebus (1826)
Date made: 19th century
Exhibition: North-West Passage
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: ;Painting: 1145 mm x 1780 mm, Frame: 1511 mm x 2155 mm x 150 mm, Weight: 66.6 kg

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