Collection online

Crossing the Line

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Crossing the Line
  • Description

    Celebrations on board of the Beagle after crossing the Southern hemisphere; a sailor dressed as Neptune seated on a gun carriage in foreground at right; a man standing at centre, reading from a book; two men dancing with a blindfolded man at left; two half-naked men, wearing skirts, shaving a blindfolded man in background; proof illustration to 'Narrative of the surveying voyages of HMS Adventure and Beagle' (1839, Vol II); after Augustus Earle; proof before letters. c 1839
    Etching and stipple


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1839 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 109 millimetres
    • Width: 173 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed in graphite below image with the title and artists' names.
  • Curator's comments

    Augustus Earle spent over six years in the Americas from 1818, living for the last four years in Brazil. He later returned to Brazil in the role of artist to the second expedition of the 'Beagle' to South America alongside the young Charles Darwin, whom Leonard Bell contends that Earle influenced with his liberal socio-political views (Bell, 2013, p. 4). Darwin kept a diary on the Beagle, which was published as volume three of FitzRoy's 'Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and the Beagle'.

    Adrian Desmond, rev. James Moore and Janet Browne, ‘Darwin, Charles Robert (1809–1882)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
    Leonard Bell, 'Not quite Darwin's artist: the travel art of Augustus Earle,' 'Journal of Historical Geography' 30 (2013) pp. 1-11.


  • Location

    Not on display (British XIXc Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Narrative of the surveying voyages of HMS Adventure and Beagle
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: PPA335941

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