The landing of British troops at Aboukir, 8 March 1801
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The landing of British troops at Aboukir, 8 March 1801 1802

On Display PORTRAIT GALLERY

This painting and its companion, ‘The Battle of Alexandria’, commemorate a turning point in an early campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, following the French occupation of Egypt and consequent threat to the security of British India. An army commanded by General Abercromby forced a landing at Aboukir Bay and defeated the French at nearby Alexandria two weeks later. The artist, De Loutherbourg, was not present at these events, but he used detailed eye-witness descriptions to create an accurate image of the action. The painting contains several recognisable portraits of senior officers: the standing figure in the boat to the left is Sir Sidney Smith; the dominant figure in the central boat with his arm outstretched is Major-General Coote. Abercromby himself is not depicted in this scene.

Glossary Open

Napoleonic Wars

A series of wars from 1803 to 1815 instigated by the aim of Napoleon I of France to conquer all of Europe. His planned invasion of Britain ended with Admiral Nelson's victory at Trafalgar, and his invasion of Russia resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of his men. Napoleon's campaign was finally ended by British and Prussian forces at Waterloo.

Napoleonic Wars

Details

  • Acc. No. PG 2681
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 106.40 x 152.80 cm (framed: 120.00 x 165.50 x 2.70 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1986