George Jones, RA (British, 1786-1869) The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna
Lot 57
George Jones, RA
(British, 1786-1869)
The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna
Sold for £21,250 (US$ 28,040) inc. premium

Lot Details
George Jones, RA (British, 1786-1869) The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna
George Jones, RA (British, 1786-1869)
The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna
signed 'Geo Jones' (lower right)
oil on canvas
71.1 x 109.2cm (28 x 43in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Commissioned by Colonel Paul Anderson.
    Thence by family descent.

    Exhibited
    London, Royal Academy, 1834, no. 408.
    London, British Institution, 1835. no 272.
    Loaned by the family for display at Wellington College, Berkshire.

    Literature
    C. Oman, Sir John Moore, London, 1953, p. 685.
    C. Hibbert, Corunna, London, 1961, (illustrated p. 118, fig 41).
    P. Harrington, 'The Battle Paintings of George Jones, R.A. (1786-1869)', Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol. LXVII, No. 272, Winter 1989, p. 240-241.

    "Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
    As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
    Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
    O'er the grave where our hero was buried.

    [...]

    Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
    From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
    We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
    But we left him alone with his glory!"

    An extract from Charles Wolfe (1791-1823) 'The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna', written in 1816.

    Charles Wolfe's famous poem has immortalised the events surrounding the death and burial of Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore (1761-1809), commander of the British Army during the battle of Corunna and cemented his position as a famous and celebrated military figure. Moreover, the battle has become seen as a significant juncture in the narrative of British military history and often presented as a glorious withdrawal and rear-guard action with a beleaguered and battered British force heroically repulsing an overwhelming French army.

    Moore's army engaged in a desperate retreat through northern Spain and Portugal during the winter of 1808-9. They were constantly forced in to rear-guard actions by the pursuing French army commanded by Marshall Soult. The conditions and terrain encountered on the retreat were dreadful with deep snow and bitter cold. This severely hampered communication and there was widespread confusion and a break down in order among some British units.

    By mid-January 1809 the British Army had reached Corunna where a fleet waited for their embarkation. Moore arrayed the vast majority of his infantry in a defensive ring around the town and port. The 16th January saw bitter fighting right across the British defensive line, nightfall brought an end to the fighting with the French attacks having been repeatedly repulsed. During the night the large majority of the British army was evacuated and a small Spanish garrison held the citadel allowing the British rear-guard to embark.

    Moore himself was struck by cannon shot and although mortally wounded managed to retain consciousness long enough to be assured that he had gained victory. Some of his last words were spoken to his old friend and aide de camp Colonel Paul Anderson "You know I always wished to die this way, I hope the people of England will be satisfied. I hope my country will do me justice." Moore was buried wrapped in a military cloak in the ramparts of the town. When the French took the town, a monument was built over his grave by the orders of Marshal Soult. The monument was rebuilt and made permanent in 1811.

    Anderson, by now a Lieutenant-General, commissioned this painting by George Jones sometime after the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars and although it was exhibited long after the battle itself the composition was drawn from Anderson's personal recollection. It is likely that Anderson also commissioned two other paintings by Jones depicting the death of Sir John Moore and Moore mortally wounded, unfortunately both of these works were destroyed in the bombing of Bristol in 1940. The present lot, however, has remained in Anderson's family for over one hundred and eighty years and this is the first time it has appeared on the market. This painting can be regarded as one of, if not the, most significant artistic representations of this historic moment.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £175,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £175,001 to £3,000,000 the Hammer Price
12.5% from £3,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, cheque with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveller's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Emma Gordon
    Specialist - 19th Century Paintings
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work + +44 207 468 8232
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7434
Similar Items