In October 1797 Admiral Duncan won a resounding victory over the Dutch at the Battle of Camperdown. This portrait of Britain's latest national hero was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London the following year. The 'Morning Chronicle', in a review of the exhibition, described the portrait as 'A bold, strong, faithful likeness. The figure stands out of the canvas, and displays much good colouring. There are few better subjects for a painter, and still fewer artists that could do it more justice than Mr Copley has done in the portrait before us.' Copley, who had moved to London from Massachusetts in 1774, later made use of this composition when he painted a vast picture of the surrender of the Dutch Admiral De Winter after the battle.