Thomas Luny 
The British Fleet Under Lord Exmouth Leaving Algiers
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British (1759-1837)

Oil on Canvas Dated 1822
42 x 65 Inches
Signed LL: Luny 1822  
   

Thomas Luny 
 
British (1759-1837)
 
The British Fleet Under Lord Exmouth Leaving Algiers
(After Destroying the Fleet and Batteries)
⚈ Sold

Oil on Canvas Dated 1822
42 x 65 Inches
Signed LL: Luny 1822  
   

The culmination of centuries of conflict in the Mediterranean and the suppression of slavery in North Africa, the British Admiralty under the command of Edward Pellew, Baron Exmouth, were victorious over the Barbary Coast States in 1816, destroying the Dey of Algier’s fleet and battlements at the mouth of the Mediterranean. The bombardment of Algiers began at 3 p.m. on August 27th, 1816. Twenty-eight ships, including a fleet of Dutch allies led by Vice-Admiral Theodorus Frederik van Capellen who joined the exposition at Gibraltar, followed Lord Exmouth’s flagship H.M.S. QUEEN CHARLOTTE to pound the North African city into submission with a devastation 10-hour naval siege of the Mediterranean base of the Barbary Corsairs.

The end of the Napoleonic Campaigns in 1815 made it possible for the British Naval command to focus on the Barbary Coast’s piratical forces. The remains of their Algerian Fleet and castle fortifications are visible in this large scale painting by the artist Thomas Luny, one of two known masterpieces of this epic engagement by the artist. The other painting, once owned by Lord Exmouth’s family, was purchased by a British museum. A deep and dark evening of severe weather is illuminated with the glow of the cannons and fires, the fleet of the corsairs caught in the annihilation. A sky-high fire bomb and lightning strike are visible, as is the British warships’ imminent victory, with English marines and Barbary corsairs still manning the rowed launches.

Exmouth’s Flagship, H.M.S. QUEEN CHARLOTTE is prominent, her triple-decked 100 guns having served their purpose. For decades, Barbary corsairs had demanded tribute and ransom of Western ships to sail the ... Read More