The immortality of Nelson
Although the victory at Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, was a cause for national celebration, for Britain it also resulted in the loss of Nelson. His death at the height of his fame inspired a cult of hero-worship and images of Nelson were used to elevate him. Similarly the function of this apotheosis was to use allegory to this end. West has adapted the classical reading of an apotheosis to emphasize both heroism and sacrifice. He has reinforced the message by creating a composition expressing Nelson's nautical achievements.
- Image reference: BHC2905
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
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