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The Fighting Temeraire, 1838 

The 98-gun ship played a distinguished role in Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, after which she was known as the 'Fighting Temeraire'. She remained in service until 1838 when she was decommissioned and towed to Rotherhithe to be broken up. The painting is thought to represent the decline of Britain's naval power – Turner is conveying a sense of loss, rather than recording a precise snapshot of the event. The dramatic setting of the sun draws a parallel with the passing of the old warship, which dwarfs the modern steam-powered tugs. Paint laid on thickly is used to depict the sun's rays striking the clouds. By contrast, the ship's rigging is delicately rendered.

  • SDA23 - Vase Silh.

  • h. 22 cm. / w. 10 cm. (boat) gift boxed with brochure