In this view, a British First-Rate, most of her crew visible on deck and wearing a command pennant at her main, passes by the castellated fortress off the mouth of the Taugus River near the port of Lisbon. A full battle fleet is seen on the horizon and a lateen rigged Portuguese fishing boat with four crew occupies the left foreground.
After Trafalgar, Napoleon sought to cut off Britain’s supply lines with a plan to occupy the ports of English allies. Lisbon was one of the more strategically significant. In August, 1808 the British sent an expeditionary force to Lisbon’s support and held the lines until the Duke of Wellington successfully drove the French out of Portugal. The fleet shown in the distance likely represents this British naval force.
Thomas Buttersworth portrayed many naval events from the Napoleonic Wars. His ability to accurately portray ships engaged in battle maneuvers is considered one of his hallmarks. In this composition the scene is artistically enhanced by the lavender tones in the sky and its soft drifting clouds.
first name :