Sir Roland Penrose
The Last Voyage of Captain Cook 1936–67

Artwork details

Sir Roland Penrose 1900–1984
The Last Voyage of Captain Cook
Date 1936–67
Medium Plaster and steel on wooden base
Dimensions Object: 692 x 660 x 825 mm
Acquisition Presented by Mrs Gabrielle Keiller through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1982
Not on display

Display caption

The Last Voyage of Captain Cook was among Roland Penrose’s contributions to the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition in London. The conjunction of disparate elements was typical of the objects made by Surrealists in the 1930s. The plaster torso came from an art supplier’s, while the globe was made by a bicycle repairer. Penrose later suggested that the striped torso represented the idea of woman being like the Earth. Among other associations, the work may suggest that Cook was an explorer of the mysterious and the erotic.

December 2005

About this artwork