The Honble Augustus Keppel Commanding His Majesty's Ship Torbay, Novr 20th 1759

A full-length portrait of Augustus Keppel (1725–1786) in captain’s undress uniform, 1748–1767, with striped stockings. Keppel strides across a rocky beach, pointing with his right hand and holding the hilt of his sword in his left. In the background, there is a high cliff on the left and crashing waves on the right. Lettered beneath the image with the sitter’s coat of arms and the title, ‘The Honble Augustus Keppel Commanding His Majesty’s Ship Torbay, Novr 20th 1759.’ Also lettered with the publication details: ‘J. Reynolds Pinxit 1752. / Edwd. Fisher fecit 1759. / Sold by Edwd. Fisher at Mr. Fryar’s in Great Queen Street.’ This portrait was engraved and published by Edward Fisher in 1759 after Joshua Reynolds’s oil painting of 1752–3 (see BHC2823). Reynolds’s painting was displayed in his show room as a demonstration of his artistic ability and it played an important role in establishing his reputation as a portraitist in London. However, Fisher’s engraving after the painting was not published until 1759, when the sitter was in the public eye after playing a prominent role in the Battle of Quiberon Bay on 20 November 1759. The print’s inscription refers to this battle, at which Keppel commanded the ‘Torbay’, 74 guns. During the action, the ‘Torbay’ attacked the French ship ‘Thesée’, 74 guns, which abruptly foundered. Keppel sent out boats to rescue the French survivors. Keppel was close friends with Reynolds, who painted his portraits many times. (Updated April 2019).

Object Details

ID: PAI5851
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Fisher, Edward; Reynolds, Joshua
Date made: 1759
People: Keppel, Augustus
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 511 x 360 mm

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