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This is a sketch made by Copley in 1788 for his massive history painting 'The Siege of Gibraltar' which he completed in 1791. Spanish and French forces began their blockade of Gibraltar in July 1779. They then launched an assault against the British garrison on 13 September, 1782. The attackers deployed 10 fortified ships in their attack but after one exploded it illuminated the harbour leaving the others as easy prey for the British gunners.
oil & pencil on canvas
H 100.3 x W 125.7 cm
presented by Sir Roger Gregory, 1925