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This is a sketch made by Copley in 1788 for his massive history painting 'The Siege of Gibraltar' which he completed in 1791. Spanish and French forces began their blockade of Gibraltar in July 1779. They then launched an assault against the British garrison on 13 September, 1782. The attackers deployed 10 fortified ships in their attack but after one exploded it illuminated the harbour leaving the others as easy prey for the British gunners. In the foreground General Elliott and a group of both British and Hanoverian officers can be seen overlooking the destruction of the enemy boats. This picture was presented to the Foundling Hospital by its Treasurer Sir Roger Gregory in 1925. It had previously belonged to his father George Burrow Gregory, MP, who was also Treasurer of the Foundling Hospital between 1857 and 1892.
oil & pencil on canvas
H 100.3 x W 125.7 cm
presented by Sir Roger Gregory, 1925