There is a larger (16 7/8 x 12in.) variant by Hodges in the collection of the State Library of New South Wales (PXD11 f.27 'Ice Islands', fig.1) for which see R. Joppien and B. Smith, The Art of Captain Cook's Voyages, II, The Voyage of the 'Resolution' and 'Adventure' 1772-1775, New Haven and London, 1985, pp.138-39, 2.7. This latter variant is one of just five extant Hodges wash and watercolour drawings of the ice-edge cruises in 1772-74, to which the present previously unrecorded lot can be added. The five known works all come from an album, disbound in 1984, of 'Original Sketches, Drawings, Maps etc Collected by Admiral Isaac Smith ... mainly of Captain Cooks Second Voyage (1772-1775) by William Hodges, Henry Roberts etc' now in the collection of the State Library of New South Wales (PXD X11 f.26-29).
There are no surviving oil paintings by Hodges of Antarctic subjects, although the recent x-ray taken of Hodges's 'View in Pickersgill Harbour, Dusky Bay, New Zealand' (April 1773) reveals this first canvas painted after the ice-edge cruises was painted over a study of icebergs (for which see the exhibition catalogue William Hodges 1744-1797: The Art of Exploration, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, 2004, p.84)
For the only other extant works deriving from the ice-edge cruises, see Joppien and Smith, 2.5 (Johann Reinhold Forster's small pen and ink diagram of an iceberg), 2.6A (the engraving after Hodges of 'The Ice Islands' for Cook (1777), II, pl. XXX), 2.10 (George Forster's bodycolour [Ice Islands with ice blink]), 2.12 (Isaac Smith's wash and watercolour [Ice Islands]), and 2.13 (Peter Fannin's pen, wash and watercolour [Resolution and Adventure among ice islands]).
'The Resolution was in the Antarctic Ocean among the southern ice from 10 December 1772 to 6 March 1773, and again from 12 December 1773 to 3 February 1774. The Adventure was with her during the first ice-edge cruise until 9 February 1773, but not during the second. For the Resolution it was a combined period of five months. It is surprising therefore that so few visual records of these highly dramatic, arduous and taxing sections of the voyage have survived. ... It seems however that some drawings have been lost. For in Cook's manuscript journal in the Public Record Office (Adm 55/108) he refers on folio 17v to two views, doubtless drawn by Hodges, to illustrate a passage in which he describes the perils and horrifying beauty of the Antarctic icebergs, ... :
the pieces which break from the large Islands are more dangerous than the Islands themselves, the latter are generally seen at a sufficient distance to give time to steer clear of them, whereas the others cannot be seen in the night or thick weather till they are under the Bows: great as these dangers are, they are now become so familiar to us that the apprehension they cause are never of long duration and are in some measure compencated by the very curious and romantick Views many of these islands exhibit ... in short the whole exhibits a View which can only be discribed by the pencle of an able painter and at once fills the mind with admiration and horror, the first is occasioned by the beautifullniss of the Picture, and the latter by the danger attending it, for was a ship to fall aboard one of these large pieces of ice she would be dashed to pieces in a moment. (Journals II, 98-9)
'In editing the Journals Beaglehole did not mention the reference key +, which Cook, in his manuscript, placed after "romantick Views". The key refers to a marginal reference at the foot of the folio: "See Views 1 and 2." Similar references occur throughout the manuscript, none of which have been recorded by Beaglehole. The views referred to are not readily identified with extant views by Hodges, though their subject matter is sometimes similar; nor are views known at present to exist that bear reference numbers that can be collated with Cook's reference numbers. We must therefore assume that the drawings and views referred to by Cook have been lost.
'It is particularly regrettable that so few Antarctic drawings by Hodges have survived, for those that survive are among the most interesting he made on the voyage. All are in monochrome and possess the freshness of work done on location; but they may have been developed, as suggested above, from simpler studies.
'Hodges here achieves strikingly original effects, with no known precedents to guide him. He sets down a general impression by means of broad, fluent washes of umber and indian ink, darkening the forewater in order to create the vivid effect of low-raking northern sunlight, striking upon the icebergs and the sails of the ships. ... It is odd that such original and dramatic drawings were not used by Hodges, so far as we know, to develop finished work in oils either during the voyage or back home in England. ... It is strange too that Cook did not seek for his own published account of the voyage a visual record of that highly important moment in his life on 30 January 1774 when he was blocked at 71.10' south latitude by ice from penetrating further south.
I who had Ambition not only to go farther than anyone had done before, but as far as it was possible for man to go, was not sorry at meeting with this interruption as it in some measure relieved us, at least shortned the dangers and hardships inseparable with the Navigation of the Southern Polar Regions ... (Joppien and Smith, pp.16-17).
The present drawing, in its simplicity and without the 'fine, nervous, calligraphic lines made with a reed pen [to] evoke the agitated sea' (Greenwich, 2005, p.80) which is a characteristic of all of the other five Hodges Antarctic drawings, may well be one of Joppien and Smith's lost 'simpler studies' which precede the more developed drawings in the State Library of New South Wales. The related study (Ice Islands, PXD11, f.27, Joppien and Smith 2.7), in addition to the pen work in the sea, details more of the rigging and seamen climbing the nets to furl the sails.
caption for fig. 1
Fig.1. William Hodges, R.A. (1744-1797), Ice Islands. Courtesy of The Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.