Monument to Sir John Franklin in the Painted Hall at Greenwich Hospital. Wood engraving after R. Westmacott, 1859.

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"Monument to Sir John Franklin. The monument erected in the Painted Hall of Greenwich Hospital, by order of Parliament, in memory of Sir John Franklin and his brave companions who sailed in the Erebus and Terror in search of a north-west passage, consists of a centre tablet, on which are inscribed the names of the enterprising and unfortunate officers and crews engaged in the expedition. This is surmounted by a pediment, within which are two crowns of oak and olive entwined. The subject is illustrated by sculpture. On the right of the tablet (the spectator's left) is a statue of a naval officer--not a portrait--studying on an open folio, with compasses in hand, the route of the ships. This figure is standing. Near him are a globe, books, and papers referring to Arctic researches, and inscribed with the names of Franklin, Parry, and Ross. In the background are seen, in low relief, the tall masts of the ships, with sails set, as if departing. A space is then left; and the next object that takes the attention is a group of large, splintered icebergs, shooting up irregularly into the sky. Over these is a star, denoting the North or Polar Star. In the fissure of an iceberg is seen a crushed and broken spar, with loose tackle. Below this scene of desolation is a statue of a sailor sitting on a fragment of rock. He is habited in the dress worn in the inclement northern regions; one of his feet, wounded, is bandaged. The expression given to this figure is intended for that of deep despondency. Lying near him are a broken icoe-pol with its tackle, such as was used in those expeditions, and the peculiar floe-anchor employed for grappling and holding on to the ice. The work is in marble, and occupies a space of about eighteen feet high by between nine and ten wide. The execution of this monument was intrusted by Government to Richard Westmacott, R.A., and most worthily has he acquitted himself of the task. …"—Illustrated London news, loc. cit.



Physical description

1 print : wood engraving ; image 19.5 x 14.8 cm


Monument to Sir John Franklin and his companions in the Painted Hall of Greenwich Hospital.


Wellcome Collection 30254i



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