frame: 1288 x 1593 x 160 mm
The last of Turner’s whaling paintings shows the boiling of blubber for processing into oil. The creature laid out on the ice at the right of the picture may have been based on a whale caught in the Thames in 1842, as well as on images by other artists.
As the title makes clear, the success of the whalers is threatened by the frozen water. A reference to this incident is made in the companion to this painting which shows the Erebus, a boat the Admiralty had promised, but failed, to send to rescue ships trapped in the ice.