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Death of Nelson: Scene on the Deck of HMS "Victory"

Samuel Drummond

Death of Nelson: Scene on the Deck of HMS "Victory"


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ArtistSamuel Drummond (1765-1844)
TitleDeath of Nelson: Scene on the Deck of HMS "Victory"
Datec.1806
MediumOil on canvas
ProvenanceCollection of journalist and newspaper editor Sir Bruce Stirling Ingram (1877-1963); from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in 1963
Dimensionsheight: 76.00 cm, width: 64.00 cm
AcquisitionPurchased from Sir Bruce Ingram, 1963
LocationUK, London, Government Art Collection
GAC number1468
 

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Death of Nelson: Scene on the Deck of HMS "Victory...Death of Nelson: Scene on the Deck of HMS "Victory...

Oil on canvas

c.1805-1806

GAC 14966

Benjamin Dean Wyatt (1775-1855) architectBenjamin Dean Wyatt (1775-1855) architect

Engraving

published 1 November 1812

GAC 2605

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Lord Nelson had become a national hero even before his death aboard HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He established his military reputation with his contribution to British victories at the Battle of the Nile (1798) and the Battle of Copenhagen (1801), for which he was made first a baron and then a viscount; his notorious and scandalous liaison with Lady Emma Hamilton secured his fame.

In this painting by Drummond, Nelson is being carried down from the deck by fellow seamen after receiving his fatal wound. The artist has borrowed compositional devices from scenes of the deposition (descent from the cross), deliberately giving Nelson a Christ-like appearance. He had, after all, in the eyes of the public at least, saved the country from the threat of French invasion.

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history painting

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This work contains the following Sitters; choose a link below to cross-refer to other works in the collection:

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Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson

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Coloured mezzotint and engraving

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"The Army and Navy"

Mezzotint and engraving

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The Army and NavyThe Army and Navy

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Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson (1758-1805) Vice-A...Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson (1758-1805) Vice-A...

Oil on canvas

GAC 5921

Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson (1758-1805) Vi...Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson (1758-1805) Vi...

Mezzotint

published 17 December 1798

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Samuel Drummond

Samuel Drummond was born in London; he joined the navy when he was fourteen and served for seven years. He is said to have been present at three engagements, which could well be true as he was serving at the height of the American War of Independence. When first practising as an artist he worked in pastels, later turning to oils and concentrating on portraits, genre scenes and naval battle pieces. He exhibited over 300 works at the Royal Academy between 1791 and 1844 and was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1808, later becoming Curator of the Royal Academy Painting School. He died in London in 1844.