The Wreck of the 'Britannia'
Illustration to Falconer's 'The Shipwreck' (1811 ed., f. p.127)'. The ninth of a series of ten, of which the collection holds nine (PAF5913-21). The printed description of the plate based on it, probably written by Pocock, reads: ' Hove to with her head to the Westward, and having struck, [the ship] is lifted by the Surge with her Back broken, her Bowsprit and Masts all gone, except the Main-mast; to which, and the Main-yard, are seen clinging the remainder of the crew.' The place represented in this image is Cape Colonna (Sunion), Greece, the site of Falconer's own experience of shipwreck in 1749, with the ancient temple of Poseidon shown on the summit to the right. Lord Byron, when he later visited the temple, would certainly have recollected Falconer's poem, of which he and many others of the Romantic period were admirers. Signed by the artist and dated, lower left. For further details see the first of the series, PAF5913: for an anonymous early copy of this one, better indicating its now faded original colour, see PAJ1648.
Original size: 253 mm x 397 mm
- Image reference: PW5920
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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