The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805
A highly stylized interpretation of the Battle of Trafalgar. The artist has framed the painting by positioning two ships on either side of the composition. On the left in the foreground a British frigate, possibly the 'Euryalus', is shown bow on, with shot holes in her foresail. The ship in the right foreground is half out of the picture space with dark sails silhouetted for dramatic effect. In the middle distance on the left the 'Victory' is in action, in starboard-quarter view. She is mistakenly shown with her original stern galleries, before she was rebuilt with a closed stern. Beyond her in the left background is the 'Santissima Trinidad' in action, in port-broadside view. To starboard of the 'Victory', partially obscured by smoke are the sterns of the 'Redoutable' and possibly the 'TÃ”Ã²Ã¡â”¬Â«mÃ”Ã²Ã¡â”¬Â«raire'. To the right of this trio a British two-decker, in port bow view, is firing into a dismasted two-decker also in bow view. Further to the right and closer is a frigate in stern view. Beyond her in the background is the stern of the 'Royal Sovereign' breaking the enemy line, and in the right background are more ships in action. The burning 'Achille' is visible on the far right. In the central foreground a group of French or Spanish sailors are shown amid wreckage, desperately clinging to a large spar, and there are other sailors in the water. Two British ship's boats approach to rescue them from the left and the right, their officers standing up, gesturing and issuing instructions.
- Image reference: BHC0550
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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