The Battle of Trafalgar is arguably one of history’s greatest naval battles, it is also one of the most painted with artists from both Britain and France including: J.M.W. Turner, Clarkson Frederick Stanfield and Louis-Philippe Crépin painting scenes from the battle.
Above are a selection of some of finest paintings of the battle, while not all perfectly accurate they give us an idea of the smoke, scale, chaos and carnage of the battle.
’The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805’ - J.M.W Turner (1823) [source]
‘Trafalgar’ - Auguste Étienne François Mayer [source]
'The Battle of Trafalgar’ - Clarkson Frederick Stanfield (1836) [source]
'Trafalgar Battle - 21st of October 1805 - Situation at 4 O'clock’ Nicholas Pocock [source]
'The Battle of Trafalgar’ - John Christian Schetky [source]
'The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805’ - William Lionel Wyllie [source]
'The Naval Battle of Trafalgar on Oct. 21st, 1805’ - Thomas Whitcombe [source]
'The Battle of Trafalgar as seen from the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the Victory’ - J. M. W. Turner (1806) [source]
'The Battle of Trafalgar’ by George Chambers [source]
'Scene of the Battle of Trafalgar’ by Louis-Philippe Crépin [source]
Yet more paintings have focused on the battle on deck, showing Nelson pacing the Victory’s quarterdeck, others show the moment Nelson was shot while others show him below decks near death. The story of the hero fallen at his hour of victory was instantly romanticised through British early 19th century patriotic fervour. The battle and Nelson remain romanticised even today, and Trafalgar remains one of the best known naval battles of history.