The Relief of Gibraltar by the British Fleet under Lord Howe & Vice Admiral Barrington, 11 October 1782

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  • About the artist
    Robert Pollard was born in Newcastle and apprenticed to a watchmaker. He moved to London in 1774 and trained under painter R. Wilson and engraver I. Taylor. By 1781 he had settled in Islington, where he set up as an engraver and publisher. His earliest prints were views of naval actions. Pollard frequently worked with engravers R. Dodd and N. Pocock and sometimes published his own designs. Many of his prints combine different methods of engraving, although aquatint was often added by a specialist. In 1789 he was elected Director of the Incorporated Society of Artists. Pollard moved to Lower Holloway in 1810, selling his print stock, but there he began publishing sporting views, mostly designed by his son James (1792-1867). He died aged 83.

    John Singleton Copley was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Irish immigrants, who owned a tobacco shop. His father died when he was a young and his mother later married English artist and schoolteacher Peter Pelham. Pelham may have introduced Copley to Scottish émigré and artist John Smibert, whose studio he visited regularly. In 1766, Copley sent the painting ‘Boy with a Squirrel’ to the Society of Artists in London, where it was praised by Benjamin West. In 1769, he married Susannah Farnham, with whom he had five children. Encouraged by West, Copley relocated to London in 1774, living in Soho and later in Westminster. He had a moderately successful career in London, painting mainly history and portrait subjects. He died aged 77.
    Dominic Serres, marine painter and nephew of the Archbishop of Rheims, was born in Auch, Gascony. He studied at the English Benedictine school at Douai but is thought to have run away and served with the Spanish fleet, before being captured and sent to England as a prisoner of war in c.1750. After his release, he painted views of country houses. In the late 1750s he moved to London, where he was a pupil of marine painter Charles Brooking. He established a reputation for battle scenes during the Seven Years War and the War of American Independence. In 1768, he was one of the founder members of the Royal Academy and in 1780 he was made marine painter to George III. He became librarian of the Royal Academy in 1792, shortly before his death.
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    Howe, Richard, Earl HoweBarrington, Samuel
    Gibraltar, Spain
    Materials & Techniques
  • Details
    The Relief of Gibraltar by the British Fleet under Lord Howe & Vice Admiral Barrington, 11 October 1782
    22 May 1810
    Engraving - 3 separate plates
    Convent, Gibraltar (Governor's Residence) collection.
    in pencil to left: Howe [to right] Barrington
    GAC number