Thomas Luny (British, 1759-1837) The Battle of Trafalgar
Lot 61
Thomas Luny
(British, 1759-1837)
The Battle of Trafalgar
£ 30,000 - 50,000
US$ 42,000 - 70,000

The Marine Sale

18 Apr 2018, 14:00 BST

London, Knightsbridge

Lot Details
Thomas Luny (British, 1759-1837) The Battle of Trafalgar
Thomas Luny (British, 1759-1837)
The Battle of Trafalgar
signed and dated 'Luny 1825' (lower left)
oil on canvas
89 x 149.5cm (35 1/16 x 58 7/8in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Purchased from the artist by Mr Cole of Gendall's, January 1826.

    We believe this work to be that which appears in Luny's stock book as follows: '1826/January/ Mr Cole of Gendall's/ Trafalgar/ 5'0"x3'0"'.
    Cole and Gendall were an Exeter based business partnership comprised of Charles Cole, a carver, gilder and picture seller, and John Gendall (1790-1865). John Gendall was born in Exeter, but moved to London where he gained notoriety as a print maker, most notably helping to develop early practices in lithography. He returned to Exeter in 1824 at which time he went into business with Cole, buying and selling paintings and prints. He would later go on to found the first art school in Exeter and played an integral role in the setting up of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.


    Throughout the long history of war at sea, the battle of Trafalgar was certainly the most complete victory of the age of sail if not the most decisive naval engagement ever fought.

    After a lengthy and frustrating chase across the Atlantic Ocean and back, Lord Nelson finally confronted the Franco-Spanish fleet off Cape Trafalgar on the morning of 21st October 1805. Admiral Villeneuve, the French supreme commander, had managed to combine the Spanish fleet with his own to give him a formidable thirty-three ships-of-war against Nelson's total of twenty-seven. To compensate for this numerical imbalance, Nelson had conceived his famously unconventional battle plan to break the enemy line in two places and as soon as the opposing fleets sighted each other on the fateful morning, the British ships formed up into their two pre-arranged columns. Nelson himself led the Weather Division in H.M.S. Victory whilst his second-in-command, Vice-Admiral Collingwood, spearheaded the Leeward Division in the 100-gun Royal Sovereign. As the fleets closed for action, Royal Sovereign drew ahead and broke the line first, but it was almost half-an-hour before Victory was able to do the same when she forced herself between Villeneuve's flagship Bucentaure and Captain Lucas in the Rédoubtable. Close behind Victory was Téméraire and, within minutes, the four ships became embroiled in a tremendous struggle during which the 74-gun Rédoubtable fought with great heroism against the two much larger British first rates. Victory pounded Rédoubtable relentlessly, inflicting appalling casualties amongst the men on her decks, whereas above the carnage, the French sharpshooters stationed in the fighting tops of the masts quietly waited in turn for their opportunities to pick off men on Victory's decks, one of whom would soon be Nelson himself.
Activities
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  1. Leo Webster
    Specialist - Marine Pictures
    Bonhams
    Work
    Montpelier Street
    London, United Kingdom SW7 1HH
    Work +44 20 7393 3865
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