The death of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805
One of a series of paintings of the same subject by Drummond, of which BHC0547 is a variant, showing a setting of 'Victory's' middle deck whereas this seems to be on the quarter-deck. At Trafalgar, Nelson (on the quarter-deck) was struck by a musket ball fired from the French 'Redoutable' at approximately 13.30. Mortally wounded he was rapidly carried below so that the men around him would not lose heart. Drummond's composition pays homage to imagery relating to the deposition from the Cross. On the left in the foreground Nelson is shown being held by two sailors and a marine, who can be identified by his stripes as Sergeant Secker. A dead marine lies on the deck on the left and an injured sailor lies on the deck on the right. Across the foreground are positioned a carefully placed musket and hat. Above on the right, on the poop, British sailors and marines are engaging the French on the left, where the 'Redoutable' is placed. Several figures have turned on the left to look towards the group of figures carrying Nelson. The English and French flags are prominently displayed top left, and the dramatic effect is heightened by the contrasting black-and-white smoke shown billowing on the left.
- Image reference: BHC0551
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Nelson-Ward Collection
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