The Apotheosis of Nelson

Pierre Nicolas Legrand (French, 1758-1829)ca. 1818

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

Admiral Nelson, the British naval hero of the Napoleonic wars, was fatally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). In this allegorical scene, Mars, the helmeted god of war, welcomes him onto Mount Olympus, the home of the ancient gods. Nelson's ascent is assisted by Poseidon, god of the seas, and Fame, depicted as a woman with wings, among others. Below, on the ship's deck, Britannia, the female personification of Great Britain, bids farewell to her greatest naval hero. At her feet are one of the Fates and grief-stricken members of the crew. This is a preparatory study for a painting exhibited in Bern (Switzerland) in 1818. It is one of the few surviving works by Legrand, whose career bridged the transition between the Neoclassical and Romantic styles.

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  • Title: The Apotheosis of Nelson
  • Creator: Pierre Nicolas Legrand (French, 1758-1829)
  • Date Created: ca. 1818
  • External Link: For more information about this and thousands of other works of art in the Walters Art Museum collection, please visit art.thewalters.org
  • Roles: Artist: Pierre Nicolas Legrand (French, 1758-1829)
  • Provenance: Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1909 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Object Type: paintings
  • Medium: oil on paper mounted on canvas
  • Exhibitions: Setting Sail: Drawings of the Sea from WAM. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2011.
  • Dimensions: H: 22 1/16 x W: 17 3/8 in. (56.1 x 44.2 cm)
  • Credit Line: Acquired by Henry Walters, 1909
  • Classification: Painting & Drawing
  • Accession Number: 37.205