Print from a 19th century engraved diagram
407 x 275mm
This is a popular print from about 1812 which we have reproduced. It reveals the state of the battle a few minutes before the scene in Steven Dews' picture "The Battle of Trafalgar". HMS Victory followed by the "fighting" HMS Temeraire is at the head of the left-hand column of British ships, which had been sailing for some considerable time into the teeth of the French and Spanish broadsides without being able to fire back – hence the holes in the sails in the Dews picture. In the French line, just to the right of where HMS Victory's column is aiming, is the French flagship Bucentaure, and behind it the Redoutable. By the time we reach the moment of Steven Dews' picture, HMS Victory has cut in between them and is delivering a devastating broadside into the stern and down the length of Bucentaure. Minutes later, a shot from high up on Redoubtable (behind HMS Victory in the Dews picture) strikes down Lord Nelson with a fatal wound. HMS Temeraire fills the right foreground of the Dews picture.