X-ray detail showing under-painting of icebergs in BHC2370 'View in Pickersgill Harbour, Dusky Bay, New Zealand' by William Hodges by William Hodges

X-ray detail showing under-painting of icebergs in BHC2370 'View in Pickersgill Harbour, Dusky Bay, New Zealand' by William Hodges

William Hodges

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X-ray detail showing under-painting of icebergs in BHC2370 'View in Pickersgill Harbour, Dusky Bay, New Zealand' by William Hodges by William Hodges zoom

X-ray detail showing under-painting of icebergs in BHC2370 'View in Pickersgill Harbour, Dusky Bay, New Zealand' by William Hodges

In 2004 this picture was X-rayed during conservation work before re-exhibition, revealing a hitherto unknown view of Antarctic icebergs painted underneath. This is very similar in composition to a gouache drawing the Mitchell Library, Sydney (State Library of New South Wales) formerly attributed to Hodges but more likely to be by George Foster, botanical artist on the same voyage, working under his guidance. It is possible that Hodges and Foster did their respective versions together on board 'Resolution' but that Hodges overpainted his in Dusky Bay: alternatively that Hodges used Foster's (which is among a group of other Hodges drawings of Antarctic subjects in pen and wash ) as model for his own iceberg view - which would have been a very unusual subject for a finished oil painting at the time - but then had second thoughts. In the latter case it is likely that the view of Pickersgill Harbour, at least, would have been painted in London.
William Hodges

  • Image reference: F3422

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