Joseph Mallord William Turner ‘Hurrah! for the Whaler Erebus! Another Fish!’ exhibited 1846

Artwork details

Artist
Title
‘Hurrah! for the Whaler Erebus! Another Fish!’
Date Exhibited 1846
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 902 x 1206 mm
frame: 1228 x 1528 x 160 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
N00546
On display at Tate Britain

Display caption

This is one of four paintings Turner exhibited in 1845 and 1846 exploring the activities of whaling fleets. He seems to have hoped that his patron Elhanan Bicknell, who was himself involved in this business, would buy the series, but he ultimately only acquired one of the canvases. The whale here is in the process of being caught. Another picture in this series shows the whale being cut up for its blubber. Turner seems to have borrowed the name of this whaling ship from HMS Erebus, which with her companion vessel, the Terror, had discovered Anarctica during explorations of the South Seas in 1839-43.

August 2007

About this artwork