The Burning of the Turkish fleet in Chesme Bay, 7 July 1770

A dramatic painting showing the burning of the Turkish fleet at Chesme Bay by a squadron of the Imperial Russian Fleet. The bay is on the Turkish mainland a few miles east of the Island of Chios. Russia was fighting Turkey to try and gain control of access to the Mediterranean Sea from the Black Sea. A Turkish fleet of more than a 100 vessels, including 16 ships of the line, was discovered by the Russian fleet, which sent four fireships in amongst them at night. The Turkish fleet was anchored in which meant that they were so packed that soon a huge conflagration overwhelmed them. Only one of the ships of the line escaped the blaze which accounted for about 10,000 dead mostly from drowning. Three Russian ships are anchored in the foreground. The Turkish fleet is ablaze in the background.

Object Details

ID: BHC0419
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Paton, Richard
Date made: Late 18th century
People: Russia: Navy
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Frame: 1306 mm x 1922 mm x 80 mm;Painting: 1219.2 x 1828.8 mm

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