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Depictions of Captain James Cook

Only a small number of portraits of Cook were drawn from life. All other images of Cook were based on these and on the imaginings of generations of artists and engravers. The Cook we recognise is something of a stereotype, created by a market hungry for images of the great man.

Cook's portrait by artist William Hodges is one of these few portraits painted by someone who knew him well. As a result, it is felt to be a true likeness of Cook.

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