The Destruction of the Floating Batteries before Gibraltar, 14 September 1782
Mezzotint10 February 1783
- About the work
About the artist
Aquatint engraver Francis Jukes was born in Martley, Worcestershire. Nothing is known of his parents. He initially worked as a topographical painter, before becoming one of the first British aquatint engravers. He is thought to have learnt the method from Paul Sandby and some of his first aquatints are after Sandby’s designs. Dukes mainly produced prints of landscape or seascape subjects. He illustrated the Rev. William Gilpin’s ‘Observations on the River Wye’ (published 1782). His early prints were published in collaboration with Valentine Green and he later collaborated with Robert Pollard. Illness towards the end of his life may have been caused by fumes from the acid he used in the aquatinting process. He died in 1812, aged about 67.
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.