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A head-and-shoulders portrait facing to the right and looking towards the viewer. Set in a painted oval, the sitter wears captain's full dress of over three years seniority, of 1774–1787. In 1773 Phipps led an Arctic expedition towards Spitsbergen in an unsuccessful attempt to find a north-eastern passage to India. In this he sailed in the bomb-ketch 'Racehorse' in company with the 'Carcass' (also a bomb, under Captain Skeffington Lutwidge). Nelson, then a midshipman, was among the crew of the latter. At the Battle of Ushant in 1778 he commanded the 'Courageux', 74 guns, and played a distinguished part in action with the 'Ville de Paris', 110 guns. In the subsequent courts-martial sparked by the dispute between Admiral Keppel and his second-in-command, Hugh Palliser, he sided with Palliser.
oil on canvas
H 76 x W 63.5 cm
National Maritime Museum (Greenwich Hospital Collection)