Undefended by delayed Royal Naval Ships of the Line, Dance adopted a bold attitude and a complex ruse to make the French think several of his ships were actually Ships of the Line. After less than an hour of battle the French admiral concluded that he was facing an overwhelming force and withdrew, allowing the British convoy to escape safely.
Every great maritime painter of the period depicted this battle, some more than once, but Dodd's is particularly impactful. Its large canvas size allows a feeling of expansion and broad scope while the alternating areas of a light and shadow convey a sense of drama and danger. Like many of Dodd's works it's an important record of history while also something that draws any viewer into the action. It's no wonder the Greenwich Maritime has so many of his pieces on their collections.
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