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The important naval dock at Portsmouth was heavily bombed during the Second World War. Eurich said he made the drawings for this work ‘on the day after the heavy bombing partly due to the presence of two battleships in the harbour’.

The scale of the scene, and its dramatic contrasts of light and shade, recalls the work of the nineteenth-century painter John Martin. The presence of Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, amid the chaos and destruction, invokes Britain’s glorious military history.

September 2004