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Oldest Known Painting of Antarctica Found

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posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 11:13 PM

AP Photo/Yale Center for British Art

Oldest known painting of Antarctica was found hidden under a 230 year old painting in London.

Antarctic Oil Painting Shrouded in Mystery

As art restorers in London inspected a 230-year-old painting by master landscape artist William Hodges, they noticed the canvas was thicker in some areas than others. Using an X-ray machine, they peered behind the lush greens of New Zealand and discovered the oldest known painting of Antarctica.

The X-ray revealed two icebergs, painted during Captain James Cook's historic expedition below the Antarctic circle. Until the National Maritime Museum in London made the discovery last year, historians believed that only sketches of the frozen continent had been produced.

The discovery ignited a discussion over why Hodges endured frigid temperatures, fog and wind to capture the first image of the frozen continent, only to paint over it months later. Cook had set out in 1772 to discover "Terra Australis Incognita," the mythical southern continent. Hodges was aboard the HMS Resolution to document the voyage, on which Cook spent nearly four months circumnavigating Antarctica.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

A great and interesting find by those art restorers. The painter probably got sick of seeing so much ice for so long, so he painted over his picture...

[edit on 2006/4/25 by Hellmutt]

posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 01:55 AM
Too bad there isnt a way to seperate the first painting from the second. It would be nice if both paintings could be put on display. Its a shame it was painted over preventing posterity from seeing it in its full glory. The early exploratory expeditions of the world represent an often over looked but fasinating portion of history that probably will not be mirrored until a good ways into the future.

posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 02:23 AM
absolutely amazing , WOw this is probably gonna triple the price of the painting. I wonder how often something like this has happened?

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