Turner made close observation of the ships shown here, but the painting of the battle in which Admiral Nelson died is not simply detailed reportage. Sails and cannon smoke arrest the eye, creating a claustrophobic backdrop, while the action appears to thrust outwards. The viewer is confronted by both the chaos of battle and the intimate tragedy of Nelson’s final moments. A contemporary reviewer termed this a ‘British epic picture…the first picture of the kind that has ever…been exhibited’.
Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile with an obsession for Britain that borders on psychosis. Anglotopia is his full time job and he's always dreaming of his next trip to England, wishing he lived there - specifically Dorset - and is always trying to figure out a way to move to England. It will happen one day. Keep up with him on Twitter here.