Death of Nelson

By Daniel Maclise. This image is a section of Maclise's heroic interpretation of the death of Nelson. This florid representation owes more to the artist's sense of pageant and composition than to reality. Nelson was actually taken below decks after being shot and would not die for another four hours. In this version, the physique and dress of crewmen, their battle positions, their unlikely combat roles as spectators or commentators, and even Victory's basic structure, have all been warped to invest the demise of a great imperial hero with the trappings of classical tragedy.

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by Stephen Luscombe