Oil on Canvas
56.6 x 76 cm
The 44-gun heavy frigate HMS Indefatigable had a long and distinguished career under several commanders, engaging in battles during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. In 1796 HMS Indefatigable captured the French frigate La Virginie after a 15-hour chase, but the Indefatigable and her captain, Sir Edward Pellew, are probably best known for the subsequent engagement with the 74-gun French ship-of-the-line Droits de l’Homme, part of the French force which emerged from its base at Brest in Brittany in December 1796. Contending with high winds, darkness and heavy seas, Pellew’s brave action in the ensuing battle of 13 January 1797 in which the Droits de l’Homme was destroyed, raised his already considerable reputation. A portrait of Pellew is on the wall to the left of this picture.
HMS Indefatigable is here presided over by the figures of Britannia, Fame and Hope and at the lower right, Poseidon and Amphitrite, Greek god and goddess of the sea.
The Indefatigable, British after 1796 © Compton Verney
Reference CVCSC 0045.F