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Engraving - ‘Remember Nelson’, Battle of Lissa, 1811
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Engraving - ‘Remember Nelson’, Battle of Lissa, 1811

Measurements: 51cm x 64cm

£1600

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Hand coloured engraving dedicated to ‘To the Officers, Seamen & Marines of His Majesty’s Ships Amphion, Cerberus, Volage & Active / This plate represents their Situation & the Enemy’s Squadron at the time of the Blowing up of the French Commodore of the Island of Lissa in the Adriatic on the 13th March 1811 / This Plate with great respect Dedicated by their most obedt, hble. Servt. Ballisat’. Published 1812. Contained in giltwood glazed frame.

The present engraving celebrates the Battle of Lissa fought between a British frigate squadron and a substantially larger squadron of French and Venetian frigates and smaller ships on 13 March 1811. The engagement was fought in the Adriatic Sea for possession of the strategically important island of Lissa, from which the British squadron had been disrupting French shipping in the Adriatic. The French needed to control the Adriatic to supply a growing army in the Illyrian Provinces and consequently dispatched an invasion force in March 1811 consisting of six frigates, numerous smaller craft and a battalion of Italian soldiers.

The French invasion force was met by Captain William Hoste and his four ships based on the island. In the subsequent battle, Hoste sank the French flagship, captured two others, and scattered the remainder of the Franco-Venetian squadron. The battle has been hailed as an important British victory, due to both the disparity between the forces and the signal raised by Hoste, a former subordinate of Nelson. Hoste had raised the message ‘Remember Nelson’ as the French bore down, and had then manoeuvred to drive Dubourdieu's flagship ashore and scatter his squadron in what has been described as ‘one of the most brilliant naval achievements of the war’.

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