national maritime museum, greenwich

The Battle of Trafalgar

by J.M.W. Turner.


210 years ago today the Royal Navy under the command of Viscount Horatio Nelson defeated the combined fleets of Spain and France, thus destroying the hopes of Napoleon Bonaparte to gain control of the seas.

The painting by Turner displays several events of the battle occurring simultaneously. Nelson’s famous signal “England expects everyman to do his duty” can be see flying from HMS Victory (11:50); the top-mizzenmast of Victory falls (13:00); the HMS Achille is on fire in the background (late afternoon) and the French ship Redoutable sinks in the foreground (following day).

The above painting can be seen on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.

Jan Baptist Bonnecroy - View of Brussels - 1664-5, 

oil, 169 x 301,5 cm

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium

Jan Baptist Bonnecroy is best known for his large-scale panoramic views of cities. In addition, he also painted a number of marine views of sailing ships.
He painted at least 4 views of Antwerp. The view dated 1658 was ordered for the Antwerp City Hall. He also made views of Amsterdam and Brussels. These views all show the cities from a distance and with a bird’s eye perspective. Bonnecroy relied on drawings of the principal buildings and city maps and his knowledge of perspective to create this illusion of looking at the cities from above. The View of Brussels now part of the collection of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium was originally the property of the Dukes of Arenberg who kept it in their castle in Heverlee.
Jan Baptist Bonnecroy also painted marine views. The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich holds two of his marine paintings, both showing views of Dutch ships sailing in front of a Dutch harbour. The paintings are in the Flemish Baroque tradition, and executed with liquid and ornamental rendering of the brushstrokes. The influence of Hendrik van Minderhout is apparent.
Bonnecroy was also a skilled etcher. The British Museum holds seven of his etches which were formerly attributed to his master Lucas van Uden. The prints all depict landscapes with figures and were published by the Antwerp publisher Frans van den Wyngaerde, together with an eight print by Lucas van Uden.