This design first appeared as the title-vignette to vol.XIV of the 'Life and Works' of Byron. It illustrates a line from 'The Age of Bronze' - 'Oh, bloody and most bootless Waterloo!' - but could equally have accompanied the Waterloo Stanzas of 'Childe Harold'. Turner has brilliantly condensed the horrific imagery of his Byronic painting of 1818 (in Room 107), and transferred the emphasis to the burning farm of Hougoumont, a vital bastion against the French attack. Turner had returned several times to this subject after visiting Waterloo in 1817 (see the sketch also exhibited).
Gallery label, August 2004
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