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A depiction of an action during the war with Spain, 1718–1720. In 1717, to strengthen the Treaty of Utrecht, Britain, France and Austria contemplated ceding Sicily to the Emperor. This arrangement displeased Spain, who wanted to recover the island. Admiral Sir George Byng was accordingly sent to the Mediterranean. Early August found Byng's fleet at anchor in the Bay of Naples. On 6 August, he sailed for Messina, the only place in Sicily that had not fallen to the Spaniards.
oil on canvas
H 132 x W 213.3 cm
National Maritime Museum (Greenwich Hospital Collection)