The Battle of Trafalgar (with key to vessels and ms. inscriptions)

Miller's engraving of Stanfield's very large United Services Club picture of 1836, exhibited that year at the Royal Academy. It was done mainly from a watercolour copy which Stanfield asked permission to have made in 1837, though he did not do this himself since a letter by him to its publisher, William Finden, dated 12 October 1837 (Winifred Myers, Catalogue no. 22, 1996, no. 121) tells him that he has 'settled with committee of the United Services Club to have a copy made from my picture of the Battle of Trafalgar and you may commence whenever you like': Myers added that he went on to say that now would be the best time and preferably in situ. The United Service Club later gave a large watercolour copy to the Army and Navy Club (which still has it) and which may well be the one Finden had made. In 1840 Stanfield, dissatisfied with the proportions of the original picture, asked the Club if they would agree to him extending the sky by an 18-inch addition across the top, doing so without charge though the Club paid the other costs: it was taken to the workshop of John Peel in Golden Square who added the extra canvas and may have adjusted the frame, and it is likely that Stanfield did his part there too. Miller's print thus reflects the earlier proportion.

Inscribed 'The Battle of Trafalgar. To the United Services Club, this Engraving is by special permission, most respectfully dedicated by their obliged servants, E. & W. Finden.' The following is hand written: 'The centre of the combined fleet at 2h30m P.M. about an hour and a half after Lord Nelson received his death wound. The Temeraire boarding the Redoutable by her mainmast, & at the same time pouring a broadside into Fougueux'. Lists of enemy and British ships portrayed have totals of killed and wounded added in longhand. The Bucentaure is shown stern view in the centre of the right-hand side of the picture.

Painted by C. Stanfield, RA, engraved by W. Miller, Printed by McQUeen, Published in London, November 1, 1839 by the proprietors Nos. 18&19, Southampton Place, Euston Sqaure. Sold also by F.G. Moon, 20 Threadneedle Street, and Ackerman & Co., Strand.
Stored with PAG8933.

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