A Whaler in the Ice, Chopping Out

after 1869
William Bradford (American, 1823–1892)


Image/canvas, approximately: 75.7 x 121.2 cm (29 13/16 x 47 11/16 in.) Framed: 94.9 x 140.3 cm (37 3/8 x 55 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Charcoal and thinned oil paint on gray primed canvas, varnished

Not On View


Americas, Prints and Drawings



Is this a finished work, or is it a sketch? We don’t know, but Bradford used an unusual combination of charcoal and thinned oil paint to create an effect that is fittingly bleak and chilly. Bradford specialized in Arctic scenes and had first-hand experience of the north, where he painted, sketched, and made photographs.


Signed in graphite, in image, l. r. corner: Wm. Bradford


Vose Galleries, Boston; Florence Lewisohn, New York; Lewis A. Shepard, Worcester, MA; purchased by MFA September 1997.

Credit Line

M. and M. Karolik Fund