Sir John Ross (1777–1856)

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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A three-quarter length portrait of Sir John Ross, facing to the right, painted in about 1833. He wears a sealskin coat worn over a black coat with naval civilian buttons and the Swedish Order of the Sword. He holds a chart in his left hand. The background shows a camp setting in the Arctic. Ross’s early years with the merchant service slowed his promotion once he rejoined the service he had originally entered and he did not become a lieutenant until 1805. From 1808 he served with de Saumarez in the Baltic and received the Swedish Order of the Sword after serving on their staff. His arctic explorations began in 1814 and in 1818 he went on Parry’s expedition. Unfortunately on this occasion he identified a range of mountains in Lancaster Sound which must have been a mirage and when they subsequently proved not to be there his reputation suffered.

National Maritime Museum



Sir John Ross (1777–1856)




oil on canvas


H 142 x W 114.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

National Maritime Museum (Greenwich Hospital Collection)

Work type



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