viscount horatio nelson

The Battle of Trafalgar

by J.M.W. Turner.

1822.

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.