- After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
- Engraving on paper
- Transferred from the British Museum 1988
The Téméraire was a battleship, first launched in 1798. It became one of the many older ships put out of service in the 1830s and 1840s. In this engraving after Turner’s painting, it is shown being tugged by a much smaller steamboat to a ship-breaking yard. It thus stands as an emblem of a magnificent, but obsolete, technology.
Contemporaries recognised the symbolic inferences of the blazing sunset, and of the contrast between the steamboat and the old warship. Many saw the picture as a commentary on the passing-away of the age of heroic patriotism.
Gallery label, September 2004
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- Thames Estuary(19)