The island fortress of Goree lay off Dakar on the west coast of Africa. Its position gave the French a base from which to menace the English trade route to India and the East. It was therefore strategically important for the English to capture it every time they were at war with France. On the occasion recorded in this painting, the task was entrusted to Commodore the Honourable Augustus Keppel, who had been sent out after Commodore Marsh's failure against Goree in May 1758. Against Keppel's more powerful squadron the French surrendered the after a short bombardment. Goree was returned to French control at the conclusion of peace in 1763.
Dominic Serres, the Elder
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