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Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 8 August 1588. A theatrical interpretation of the Battle of Gravelines, an historical episode that had taken place over 200 years earlier. The artist's painterly response depicts the dramatic nature of the event, together with a vivid use of light and colour to enhance the intensity of the image and the sense of violent struggle. The narrative shows the morning after the English fireship attack on the Armada in Calais Roads, which found the Spaniards in a north-westerly gale off Dunkirk. A shift in the wind direction prevented many of their ships from being wrecked on the surrounding shoals. Saved from this disaster, they fought all day with the English and Dutch until they turned northwards, defeated, on their retreat around Scotland.
In the left foreground, a boat-load of English sailors are fighting their way into the beak of a Spanish ship which is silhouetted against the flame and smoke. The Duke of Medina Sidonia's flagship, the 'San Martin', flying the Papal standard at the main above a religious banner and the Spanish ensign on her stern, is immediately beyond to the right. The central Spanish ship beyond the 'San Martin' flies the flag of Leon and Castile at the main and the ragged saltire cross of Burgundy on a striped ground as an ensign. Immediately in front of her is a much smaller English galleon, while further Spanish ships lie to the left. In the foreground centre and to the left, several more small boats contain men fighting at close quarters, some in full armour with swords and some preparing to fight with only oars. In the small dismasted Spanish pinnace which is being overwhelmed in the immediate foreground, a monk stands with his arms spread wide, perhaps in desperate benediction over his comrades. The English fleet is attacking from the right, with the 'Ark Royal' half into the canvas in the right foreground. The royal arms of Elizabeth I are visible on the foresail with the Royal Standard and St George's flag flying from the main- and foremasts respectively. 'Ark Royal', was the flagship of the English fleet during the Spanish Armada campaign of 1588, under the Lord Admiral, Charles Howard (Lord Howard of Effingham).
A premium quality heavyweight (200gsm) fine art print material with a smooth, clean finish. This museum quality paper is extremely consistent and works perfectly with large, full colour graphics or illustrations. The matte finish emphasizes different highlights and tones in the source artworks; helping to create stunning works of art.
- All prints include a small 0.25 inch white border to ensure space for framing.
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16 x 12 Inches = 40.6 cm x 30.5 cm
24 x 18 Inches = 61 cm x 45.7 cm
Defeat of the Spanish Armada | Philip James de Loutherbourg | 1796
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