Opening of the exhibition “The North Pole Expedition / Illustrations by Julius Payer”
An exhibition of book illustrations and copies of paintings by Julius Payer (1841–1915), the greatest Arctic explorer from the Czech lands and the most famous painter of the polar landscapes in general. In 1876, his travelogue “Austro-Hungarian Expedition to the North Pole in 1872-74, together with a sketch of the second German expedition to the North Pole in 1869-70 and a polar expedition in 1871” was published in Vienna. A substantial part of the book was published in 1969 in a Czech translation by Jaroslav Hošek and fifty years later in a new edition entitled “Expedition to the North Pole” (Dauphin 2019). The exhibition of Payer’s illustrations is based on this book. To emphasize Payer’s artistic genius, the introductory panel is a reproduction of one of the four canvases of the so-called Franklin polar cycle. The painting “Starvation Cove” depicts the tragic end of Sir John Franklin’s polar expedition of 1845.