Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 8 August 1588
A theatrical interpretation of the Battle of Gravelines, an historical episode that had taken place over 200 years earlier. The artist's painterly response depicts the dramatic nature of the event, together with a vivid use of light and colour to enhance the intensity of the image and the sense of violent struggle. The narrative shows the morning after the English fireship attack on the Armada in Calais Roads, which found the Spaniards in a north-westerly gale off Dunkirk. A shift in the wind direction prevented many of their ships from being wrecked on the surrounding shoals. Saved from this disaster, they fought all day with the English and Dutch until they turned northwards, defeated, on their retreat around Scotland.
Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg
- Image reference: BHC0264
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
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