Greenland Fishery: English Whalers in the Ice

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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An English whaler is seen in the centre in stern and port-quarter view. To the left a similar ship lies at anchor in port-broadside view. In the left foreground is an ice floe with two polar bears facing towards the central whaler. Two small boats and a whaler are in the centre and right foregound. The boat to the right is alongside the whale and one man stands up holding a harpoon which he has speared into the side of the whale, which sends up water through its spout. Behind it in the distance is the tail of another whale with three small boats around it, and an ice floe beyond. Evidence of another whale can be seen in the foreground on the far left. The work evokes an awareness that this is a potentially dangerous and inhospitable world, reinforced through the portrayal of dark clouds above the main whaler.

National Maritime Museum



Greenland Fishery: English Whalers in the Ice




oil on canvas


H 26 x W 43 cm

Accession number


Work type



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