Joseph Mallord William TurnerSpithead: Two Captured Danish Ships Entering Portsmouth Harbour 1807-9

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Artwork details

Spithead: Two Captured Danish Ships Entering Portsmouth Harbour
Date 1807-9
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 1714 x 2337 mm frame: 2105 x 2745 x 183 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Not on display

Display caption

Turner was as much a marine painter as a landscape artist; this is one of his history paintings set at sea. In 1807 he went to Portsmouth to see the arrival of two captured Danish ships and make sketches upon which this painting was based. The original title (as above) referred to this event.
By the time the work was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1809, political outcry against the operation was such that he felt it advisable to change the title to ‘Boat’s crew recovering an anchor’.

September 2011

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