Herbert PONTING, The 'Terra Nova' in a gale, March 1912 Enlarge 1 /1


England 1870 – 1935

The 'Terra Nova' in a gale, March 1912 1912 Materials & Technique: photographs, dark blue-green carbon photograph enlargement using carbon tissue transfer process Support: card and original exhibition frames from New Zealand 1925-26

Primary Insc: signed in ink lower right image HG Ponting
Secondary Insc: ”Meares and Capt Qates at the blubeer(?) stove” Cat #257 This description is on the back of the photo’s in a original label verso “New Zealand & South Seas International Exhibition,1925-1926 Dunedin” And a name is inscribed in ink next to the label as follows- “On Loan From Robert Grae 54 Borich Rd Glen Eden. it also has another label from a framer as follows, Fine Art Dealers –Eatons,/ Picture Frames, 55 Wills St Wellington.
Dimensions: image 45.7 h x 34.7 w cm sheet 47.0 h x 36.3 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2009
Accession No: NGA 2009.922

We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of Providence, determined to do our best to the last.

Robert Falcon Scott

Although sometimes dates 1910 it is more likely that this image was made on the return journey to New Zealand. All hands have been called to man the pumps which needed to operate continually to keep the Terra Nova from foundering. It would be almost a year before the tragic loss of Scott and his four companions – Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Edgar Evans and Lawrence Oates – was made known to the world. After the war, Ponting, deeply affected by Scott’s death, dedicated himself to making the sacrifice of Scott and his companions known through lectures and slide evenings. For his services Ponting was awarded the George V Polar Medal and Royal Geographic Society Medal. Ponting and Hurley met in 1916 in London, one near the end of his creative output, one near the beginning. They had great admiration for each other’s work. Sadly, Ponting’s projects in the twenties and early thirties were financial failures and he died in penury in London in 1935.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra