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Cutting out the 'Curieux' at Martinique, 3 February 1804

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: French Navy
Depiction: Royal Navy
EventsNapoleonic Wars, 1803-1815
VesselsCurieux (1800)

Object details:

Object ID BHC0537
Description The French brig sloop ‘Curieux’ was fitted out at Martinique in order to attack British interests. As she was a threat to British West Indian commerce, the British Commodore Hood gave orders for her capture. Under the command of Lieutenant Robert Carthew Reynolds four boats with 60 seamen and 12 marines set out on a moonlit night from the British ship ‘Centaur’. This meant a 20-mile row to reach the ‘Curieux’ lying under the protection of the guns of Fort Edward. When Reynolds’s barge came in under the stern of the ‘Curieux’ he found that, providentially, a rope ladder hung down the side. He scaled it and cut a hole in the anti-boarding nets to enable his men to pour on board. Before she was taken the French lost nearly 40 killed and wounded. The British had nine wounded and Reynolds, who was one of them, subsequently died of his wounds. On the right side of the picture the ‘Curieux’ is shown just before her capture. Her anti-boarding netting is clearly visible. The sailors can be seen loosing her sails and cutting her cable, while the guns of Fort Edward are firing. A moon shines between her masts and in the left foreground another battery is in action. The painting is signed and dated ‘F. Sartoruis 1805’.
Date made 1805

Artist/Maker Sartorius, Francis
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Macpherson Collection
Materials oil on canvas marouflaged on Sundaela board
Measurements Painting: 383 x 534 x 11 mm
  • Cutting out the 'Curieux' at Martinique, 3 February 1804 (BHC0537)
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