Engravings - A Set of Four Naval Victories, 1803
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Overall: 65cm (25.5in) x 42cm (16.5in)
‘Commemoration of the Four Great Naval Victories Obtained by the English During the Late War’, published to coincide with the short-lived break in hostilities with France by the enterprising Robert Bowyer (1758-1834), proprietor of The Historic Gallery, Pall Mall, London.
Bowyer was by turns a merchant’s clerk, a self-taught miniaturist whose sitters included Nelson and George IV, a Baptist missionary who journeyed to France in 1802, and a publisher of two epic projects, an illustrated edition of the Bible and Hume’s History of England. The four British naval victories published in 1802-03, are respectively the Battle of the Glorious First of June fought on 1 June 1794, the Battle of Cape St Vincent fought on 14 February 1797, the Battle of the Battle of Camperdown fought on 11 October 1797, and the Battle of the Nile fought on 1 August 1798.
‘Commemoration of the Victory of June 1st MDCCXCIV’ - by Francesco Bartolozzi, John George Landseer, Thomas Ryder and James Stow, after Robert Smirke. Line engraving in two plates, published 1802, being an oak tree with portraits of Admirals Howe, Graves, Gardiner, Caldwell, Bowyer, Paisley and Bridport hanging in its branches, a figure of Britannia sitting against the trunk with a lion, on a rock at the edge of the sea, a winged figure approaching to crown her with laurel, and below a plaque with the heads of seventeen captains present at the battle.
‘Commemoration of the XIVth February MDCCXCVII’ - by William Henry Worthington and James Parker, after Robert Smirke. Line engraving, published 1803, being a representation of Fortitude, with laurels in both hands and lion at her feet, on a column with flags and cannons below, ships on the sea behind; and below portrait miniatures of twenty-one of the admirals and captains present in the action.
‘Commemoration of the XIth October MDCCXCVII’ - by George Noble, James Parker and John Edwards, after Robert Smirke and John Smart. Line engraving, published 1803, being a representation of Britannia in her chariot, over a plaque with eighteen miniature portraits of the admirals and captains present at the battle.
‘Victors of The Nile’ - by William Bromley, John George Landseer and William Satchwell Leney, after Robert Smirke. Line engraving, published 1803, being a portrait of Admiral Lord Nelson on a palm tree held by the figure of winged victory bearing fanfare trumpets, set against a background of British warships and the pyramids enveloped by gun smoke. At the base of the palm tree a figure representing of the Nile holds a cornucopia of abundance and reclines on an upturned urn spewing forth life-giving waters. The whole over a laurel bound panel set with fifteen cameo portraits of Nelson’s captains.