The Bombardment of Algiers, 27 August 1816

This is the freely painted oil study of George Chambers Senior’s ‘The Bombardment of Algiers, 27 August 1816’ (BHC0617).

In 1816 a squadron under Admiral Sir Edward Pellew was fitted out and sent to Algiers where they arrived, in company with a small Dutch squadron, on 27 August 1816. They sought the release of the British Consul, who had been detained, and over 1000 Christian slaves, many being seamen taken by the Algerines. When they received no reply the fleet bombarded Algiers in the most spectacular of several similar punitive actions of this period that finally broke the power of the 'Barbary pirates', who had been a plague on European commerce in the Mediterranean for centuries. Pellew was subsequently created Viscount Exmouth.

The artist, George Chambers Senior (1803–40), went to Plymouth to sketch the men-of-war in the production of his painting. The NMM has a number of the preliminary drawings for it. In this oil study Chambers laid out the colours and masses of light, shade and smoke with the ‘Impregnable’ on the right and the ‘Minden’ in the left middle distance, as well as the vessels closer to batteries of the harbour, but omitting meticulous detail in favour of an atmospheric impression.

Object Details

ID: BHC0615
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Chambers, George
Places: Algiers
Events: Bombardment of Algiers, 1816
Date made: about 1836
Exhibition: Art for the Nation; Collecting for the 21st Century
People: Royal Navy; Netherlands: Navy
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Caird Fund.
Measurements: Painting 470 x 724 mm

Your Request

If an item is shown as “offsite”, please allow eight days for your order to be processed. For further information, please contact Archive staff:

Tel: (during Library opening hours)

Click “Continue” below to continue processing your order with the Library team.