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Prelude to Trafalgar


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Prelude to Trafalgar by Ivan Berryman.  Part of a series of Trafalgar paintings by Ivan Berryman, featuring HMS Victory, Nelson, and the British, French and Spanish ships of the Battle of Trafalgar.

21st October 1805. As Admiral Nelsons flagship leads the British fleet towards the Franco-Spanish line, Captain Harveys Temeraire tries to pass the Victory in order to be the first to break the enemy column. Harvey was discouraged with a customry rebuke from Nelson and duly fell into line behind the flagship. The enemy can be seen spread along the horizon whilst, to the right in the distance, the leading ships of Admiral Collingwoods fleet can be seen spearheading a separate assault to the south. In the light airs preceding the battle, much sail was needed to drive the British ships towards the enemy line. HMS Victory, nearest, has royals and stunsails set and is making good way, her furniture boats strung behind in readiness for battle. On her poop deck, officers prepare to run up a signal.