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A depiction of an episode from the last major operation of the Seven Years War, 1756–63. It was part of England's offensive against Spain when she entered the war in support of France late in 1761. The British government's response was immediately to plan large offensive amphibious operations against Spanish overseas possessions, particularly Havana, the capital of the western dominions, and Manila, the capital in the east. Havana needed large forces for its capture and early in 1762 ships and troops were dispatched under Admiral Sir George Pocock and General the Earl of Albemarle. The force that descended on Cuba consisted of 22 ships of the line, four 50-gun ships, three 40-gunners, a dozen frigates and a dozen sloops and bomb vessels. In addition there were troopships, storeships, and hospital ships. Pocock took this great fleet of about 180 vessels from Jamaica and sailed through the dangerous Old Straits of Bahama, to take Havana by surprise.
The scene refers to the conclusion of the naval operation. The painting is a complex panorama depicted from the southern end of the harbour, showing the captured Spanish warships at anchor, ships on the stocks being burnt at left and the sunlit fortress of El Morro seen down an open sightline at the centre right. The tropical cloud formation in the background is an important element of the composition and execution. It is part of a series of pictures painted by Dominic Serres (of which the Museum holds 6 out of 14 identified) to illustrate the principal events of the campaign for the Keppel family, of whom three distinguished brothers served at Havana: George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle (1724-72) was the army commander-in-chief; Commodore the Hon. Augustus Keppel (1725-86), who was naval second-in-command and Colonel the Hon. William Keppel (1727 -82), who directed the storming of the Morro Castle. The series consists of two groups, six larger paintings with naval emphasis, and five smaller ones (including this) which focus more on the army and the town. It is assumed that the naval ones were painted for Augustus, and the others either for George or William.
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 .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
32" x 24" Inches = 81.3 cm x 61 cm
40” x 30” Inches = 101.6 cm x 76.2 cm
The Captured Spanish Fleet at Havana | Dominic Serres | 1768
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