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By Stephen Pearse, Esq.
Source: The Illustrated London News, May 7, 1853, p. 357
Messrs. Graves and Co. have just published an engraving, by Scott, from a highly-interesting historical group picture, entitled the "Arctic Council." This picture was painted by Mr. Stephen Pearse for Mr. Barrow, of the Admiralty; and, as its name implies, represents the principal commanders and men of note who have taken active part in the researches after a supposed North-Western Passage, assembled at the Admiralty, and discussing the plan of the search to be made for Sir John Franklin and his brave comrades. As a work of art the picture is entitled to high commendation, being full of spirit and character, whilst the individual portraits are, we believe, of unimpeachable truthfulness. Around the table-some seated, some standing-are Captain Sir W. E. Parry, Captain Sir George Back, Captain Sir James C. Ross, Captain E. J. Bird, Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, Hydrographer; John Barrow, Esq., Keeper of the Records of the Admiralty; Lieut.-Colonel Sabine, Captain W. A. B. Hamilton, Secretary of the Admiralty; Sir John Richardson, Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets; and Captain F. W. Beechey; whilst on the walls are represented portraits of Sir John Franklin, the Commander of the missing expedition of 1845, and Captain Fitzjames, who served under him on board the Erebus, where he was appointed to conduct the magnetic observations; and the late Sir James Barrow, who, during his official career, did so much to advocate and promote the Polar expeditions. The print is dedicated to Lady Franklin, and, we are sure, will be looked upon with deep interest by all who are proud of the enterprising spirit of our country, and feel a deep and painful interest in the fate of come of the bravest of her sons.