The Battle of Camperdown

Philip James de Loutherbourg1799

Tate Britain

Tate Britain

By 1800, de Loutherbourg was celebrated for his dramatic depictions of maritime disasters and sea battles. The subject here is the decisive moment in the battle of Camperdown, off the Dutch coast, in 1797.

A British fleet defeated the Dutch, who were then allied with the French. The flagship Venerable fires its last broadside at the Dutch Vryhied. Loutherbourg, who was chief designer of scenery at the Drury Lane Theatre, was more concerned with dramatic effect than documentation. His picture was said to express 'the horror and devastation attendant upon a conflict disputed with such obstinate bravery'.

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  • Title: The Battle of Camperdown
  • Creator: Phillip James De Loutherbourg
  • Date Created: 1799
  • Provenance: Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1971
  • Physical Dimensions: w214 x h1524 mm
  • Original Title: The Battle of Camperdown
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas


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