The Battle of the Nile, fought 1 August 1798
Engravingpublished January 1803
About the work
This engraving celebrates the British victory against the French and their allies during the Napoleonic Wars. The Battle of the Nile, fought between the British fleet, led by Admiral Horatio Nelson, and a French convoy under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte, took place at Aboukir Bay on the Egyptian coast from 1 to 3 August 1798.
About the artist
London-born engraver James Fittler exhibited two sketches at the Free Society of Artists, aged 17. He studied engraving at the Royal Academy Schools from 21 and exhibited there between 1788 and 1824, becoming an associate in 1800. He was later appointed marine engraver to George III. He contributed to Boydell’s ‘Shakespeare Gallery’ and co-published ‘Views of Weymouth’ (1790-91) and (with Robert Bowyer) an illustrated bible (1795), losing some £1500 in the later venture. He published engravings for John Claude Nattes's ‘Scotia Depicta’ (1804) and made reproductions of Raphael's ‘Cartoons’ (1810). His last published works illustrated Thomas Frognall Dibdin's ‘Account of the Mansion, Books, and Pictures, at Althorp’ (1822). He died aged 77.
Philip James de Loutherbourg, was born in Germany, the son of a miniaturist and engraver. The family moved to Paris in 1755 where he studied with Carle Van Loo and Jean-Georges Wille, before entering the studio of François Joseph Casanova. He left Paris in 1768 to travel through France, Switzerland and the Rhineland. In 1771 he arrived in London, where David Garrick gave him control of the scenery at Drury Lane Theatre. He remained at the theatre when Sheridan took over. In 1781, he became a member of the Royal Academy. He travelled throughout the UK on sketching tours and began painting naval victories in the 1790s. In 1807 he was made Historical Painter to the Duke of Gloucester. He died in Hammersmith, aged 71.
- The Battle of the Nile, fought 1 August 1798
- published January 1803
- Purchased from Colnaghi, April 1952
- Collection of Prince Loewenstein; Liechenstein Collection; with Colnaghi, London; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in April 1952
- GAC number