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Adam Duncan, 1st Viscount Duncan of Camperdown, 1731 - 1804. Admiral 1798


  • Scottish Art
A naval officer from Dundee, Duncan's career had been worthy but unremarkable until his last posting, when he emerged as one of Britain's great heroes of the Napoleonic Wars. With Duncan at its command, a North Sea fleet achieved a resounding victory over the Dutch at the Battle of Camperdown on 11 October 1797. Danloux, painting two years after the event, imagines Duncan, calm in the midst of gun and cannon fire, on the deck of the Venerable. The officer blowing a trumpet symbolises Fame.

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.


The representation of subjects or ideas by use of a device or motif to create underlying meaning. A literary and artistic movement that originated in France and spread through much of Europe in the late 19th century. There was no consistent style but rather an appeal to the idea of the artist as mystic or visionary and the desire to express a world beyond superficial appearances.

Napoleonic Wars, Symbolism


  • Acc. No. PG 1065
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 269.00 x 195.80 cm (framed: 285.40 x 211.00 x 6.00 cm)
  • Credit Bequeathed by the Earl of Camperdown to the National Gallery of Scotland and transferred