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The Capture of the 'Glorioso', 8 October 1747

Fine art

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Object ID BHC0371
Description The Spanish 74-gun ship 'Glorioso' was on her way to Cadiz from Ferrol, where she had landed treasure, when she was attacked by a number of English ships, including the 'Royal family' squadron of privateers commanded by Commodore Walker. She was engaged by several ships of inferior force including Walker's privateer the 'King George', 32 guns, which kept up a close but unequal struggle for several hours, and the 'Dartmouth', 50 guns, which blew up. After a five-hour battle, the 'Glorioso' was finally captured by the 'Russell', 80 guns, which was returning half-manned from the Mediterranean. The last shots of the action are shown with the 'Russell' and 'Glorioso' in the centre of the picture, both running in starboard-bow view. In a calm sea, the 'Glorioso', right, has lost her topmast, her ensign is being struck and there is a sailor on her bowsprit taking down the jack. To the left, the 'King George', in starboard-broadside view, is hove-to, with her sails in ribbons, her mizzen topmast gone and her foreyard shot in two. The topsails of the 'Prince Frederick' can be seen between the 'Russell' and 'Glorioso' over the gun-smoke. To their right in the background is a third privateer and to the right, port-broadside view, is the sinking, burning wreck of the 'Dartmouth', her foremast still standing. Only fourteen of her crew survived. Most of the artist's paintings date to the last six years of his career and are principally marine subject-matter. Brooking's reputation as a marine artist was well established by 1755. In 1754 he completed a commission from the Foundling Hospital in London for a large sea-piece, and in the same year was elected as one of the Foundling Hospital's governors and guardians. Although his stylistic range shows the influences of Simon de Vlieger and Willem van de Velde the Younger, his approach was uncompromisingly individualistic, with close attention to maritime detail.
Date made circa 1747

Artist/Maker Brooking, Charles
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 812 mm x 1415 mm; Frame: 1040 mm x 1640 mm
  • The Capture of the 'Glorioso', 8 October 1747 (BHC0371)
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