Derek George Montague Gardner (British, 1914-2007) Battle of Trafalgar
Lot 132AR
Derek George Montague Gardner (British, 1914-2007) The battle of Trafalgar – H.M.S. Victory and H.M.S. Téméraire in close action with the French Rédoubtable, the Spanish four-decker Santisima Trinidad sailing ahead off Victory's port bow
£25,000 - 30,000
US$ 41,000 - 50,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
Derek George Montague Gardner (British, 1914-2007)
The battle of Trafalgar – H.M.S. Victory and H.M.S. Téméraire in close action with the French Rédoubtable, the Spanish four-decker Santisima Trinidad sailing ahead off Victory's port bow
signed 'Derek G.M. Gardner' and dated 1965 (lower right)
oil on canvas
76.2 x 101.6cm (30 x 40in).

Footnotes

  • The incident depicted here took place straight after the opening encounter at Trafalgar (for which see John Steven Dews's portrayal in lot 154) and in it, Gardner has painted a stunning evocation of how a really 'close action' must have seemed to those who took part in it. Notwithstanding Victory's assault on Rédoubtable's port side, the furious broadside from Téméraire's port guns suggests an inferno of epic proportions and it was little wonder that, when Rédoubtable eventually struck her colours, she was – in her own captain's words – 'so riddled that she seemed to be no more than a mass of wreckage.' She had endured the most devastating and unequal exchange of broadsides in the entire battle and sustained very heavy casualties as a result. Despite the damage, she was – as a relatively new '74' – still a valuable prize and in the violent storm which followed the battle, the crew of H.M.S. Swiftsure made the most strenuous efforts to save her as well as those members of her crew still aboard the doomed ship. In the event, after five hours of unremitting effort, Rédoubtable sank at 10.15pm. on 22nd October with a total loss of some 487 men either killed in the battle or drowned when she foundered.

    The Téméraire at Trafalgar was the second vessel of this name to serve in the Royal Navy. Laid down at Chatham and launched in September 1798, she was a large second rate of 98-guns and, like Rédoubtable, took a tremendous battering at Trafalgar and barely survived the subsequent storm which sank so many of the captured prizes. Despite her survival however, she was deemed unfit for further service at sea and was relegated to harbour duties. Ending her days at Sheerness, she was sold for breaking in 1838 and, whilst under tow to Rotherhithe, found immortality when she inspired J.M.W. Turner to paint her passing in his celebrated 'Fighting Téméraire'.
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