Battle of Trafalgar
About the work
Vast naval ships are aligned in formation, many flying the British flag. Their rigging is in disarray and their sails in tatters. To the right of the composition, fire consumes one of the vessels, while in the centre, a rowing boat full of men heads towards the larger ships.
Another painting by Thomas Luny depicting this event is in the collection of the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia, dated 1806. While a third Luny painting of ‘The Battle of Trafalgar’, signed and dated 1826, is held in the Royal Navy Museum, Portsmouth.
About the artist
Thomas Luny, marine painter, apparently studied with the artist Francis Holman in London. He exhibited mostly at the Royal Academy, where he showed his work every year from 1780 to 1793. He showed nothing after 1793 until 1802, when he exhibited 'Battle of the Nile', and then nothing until the year of his death, when he exhibited three pictures. It is possible that in 1793 he joined the Royal Navy to fight in the French Revolutionary Wars. Luny retired to Teignmouth in Devon, in about 1810, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. In spite of being crippled by arthritis in both his hands and his legs for over 30 years he continued to paint assiduously and his total life's work is thought to have produced some 3000 pictures.
Thomas Luny (1759 - 1837)
- Battle of Trafalgar
- Oil on canvas
- height: 152.50 cm, width: 236.00 cm
- Purchased from Appleby Bros, December 1952
- Purchased from Appleby Bros. 1952
- GAC number