Joseph Mallord William TurnerDiagram of Ship Positions at the Battle of Trafalgar 1805

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Diagram of Ship Positions at the Battle of Trafalgar
From Nelson Sketchbook
Turner Bequest LXXXIX
Date 1805
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 114 x 184 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05479
Turner Bequest LXXXIX 24 a
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 31 Verso:
Diagram of Ship Positions at the Battle of Trafalgar 1805
D05479
Turner Bequest LXXXIX 24a
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 184 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘B | Neptune | C | Round Stern’ top left, ‘R. yellow’ top centre, ‘4 tiers of Guns’ top right, and ‘V’, ‘Red’, ‘Temeraire’ and ‘Fo’ from left to right within outlines of ships
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Drawn with the sketchbook inverted. See folio 9 verso of the sketchbook (D05456) for another diagram of the battle. Here the ships drawn in outline and named in Turner’s annotations are the French Redoutable (see folio 10, D05457; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 11), the British Temeraire and the French Fougueux. Indicated by initials or otherwise are the French Bucentaure (see folio 9 verso), the British Neptune and possibly the British Conqueror. The only ship to carry four tiers of guns was the Spanish Santissima Trinidad (see chiefly folio 21 verso, D05458; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 12). As with other diagrams in the book, this is crudely drawn, perhaps initially by an eye-witness to the battle who Turner met aboard the Victory.

David Blayney Brown
March 2006

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