Joseph Mallord William Turner

Diagram of Ship Positions at the Battle of Trafalgar


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 184 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXXIX 24 a

Catalogue entry

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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