This masterpiece depicts the battle between the Spanish ship Glorioso, under the command of Pedro Mesía de la Cerda, and the 50-gun British ship Dartmouth, captained by James Hamilton. The battle took place in the context of the War of Jenkins' Ear, which pitted the Spanish against the English over Caribbean territories on October 19, 1747.
The Spanish 70-gun ship Glorioso was traveling from the Americas laden with money. In the Azores, it repelled an attack by the British 60-gun ship Warwick and another by the frigate Lark. At Cape St. Vincent, it faced successive attacks by 2 British privateer frigates: the 32-gun King George, and the Prince Frederick, which were forced to withdraw because of the damage they had sustained. It was then pursued by 10 more vessels, one of which was the 50-gun ship Dartmouth. Dartmouth was fired on by the Spanish ship, causing it to explode, with only 14 men surviving from its crew of 300. Eventually the Glorioso, under attack by the 80-gun Russell, surrendered after 5 hours of battle, having lost its mainmast and used up its ammunition, and with 33 fatalities and 130 injured men on board.
The painting is by Ángel Cortellini Sánchez, who was a painter and conservator at the Naval Museum. Son of the artist Ángel María Cortellini Hernández, he was trained at the School of Fine Arts in San Fernando. As well as a portrait painter and landscape artist, he was known for his high quality, detailed seascapes. This painting was acquired from his descendants by the Board of Trustees of the Naval Museum in 1952.