The Battle of Lissa, 13 March 1811; the start of the action (9am)

A scene from the Battle of Lissa, part of the Adriatic campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. The battle for possession of the strategically important island of Lissa (also known as Vis), from which the British squadron had been disrupting French shipping in the Adriatic, took place on 13 March 1811. It was fought between a British frigate squadron and a substantially larger squadron of French and Venetian frigates and smaller ships. The French needed to control the Adriatic to supply a growing army in the Illyrian Provinces. Whitcombe based his composition on a sketch by J L Few, who was on board the 'Amphion', and this is the first plate in a series depicting the battle. Inscribed: "To The Right Honourable Charles Yorke, First Lord of the Admiralty &c &c. Plate 1st Representing a Squadron of British Frigates led by the Amphion, Captn Hoste, and consisting of the following ships – Cerberus, Captn Whitby, Active, Captn Gordon & Volage, Captn Hornby, engaging the combined French and Venetian Squadron off the Island of Lissa in the Adriatic on the 13th of March 1811 – & by permission respectfully Dedicated by his most obt humble Servt George Andrews." The 'Amphion' is shown centre-right, leading the British Squadron. The ‘Favorite’ is shown centre-left as the foremost enemy ship. Published by George Andrews, Marine Print Warehouse, London 1812. Hand-coloured aquatint. Stored in mount with PAI6157, which is a duplicate.

Object Details

ID: PAI6158
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Whitcombe, Thomas; Havell, Daniel Havell, Robert Andrews, George Few, J L
Places: Unlinked place
Events: Napoleonic Wars: Lissa, 1811
Vessels: Active (1799); Amphion (1798) Volage (1807) Cerberus (1794) Bellona (1808) Favorite (1810)
Date made: Feb 1812
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 510 x 661 mm

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