RONNY MOORTGAT | The Battle of Camperdown 1797
100 cms x 200 cms / 40" x 80"
Oil on Canvas
Camperdown represented a decisive victory for the Admiral Adam Duncan and the Royal Navy over the forces of the Batavian Republic, the Revolutionary State established in the Netherlands as a ‘Sister-Republic’ to France.
The Dutch fleet posed a significant threat to the British in the North Sea, particularly due to their alliance with the French. The battle represented the largest scale naval engagement of the Revolutionary Wars to that point, with sixteen British ships-of-the-line facing fifteen Dutch, alongside numerous smaller vessels. It has been argued that Camperdown could be considered the last time that a naval battle needed to be won by the Royal Navy, as the Dutch were intending on sailing with thirty thousand troops in order to invade Ireland. It is also likely the reason that Napoleon was unable to invade the mainland when he was the commander of the Army of the Channel in 1800-1802.
Although now much eclipsed by Nelson’s triumphs at Aboukir Bay and Trafalgar in the following decade, Camperdown was widely celebrated by the British public, and considered at that time a contender for the nation’s most significant naval victory. The battle prompted a significant boost to national morale, particularly given the fact that the fleet had suffered significant mutinies the year before. For his successful command Adam Duncan was made Viscount of Camperdown, and interestingly was awarded the largest pension ever offered by the British Government.
- Ronny Moortgat is one of the foremost contemporary artists of marine painting. Following in the footsteps of the great maritime masters of the twentieth-century, he depicts his subjects with great discipline, capturing every minute detail of the vessels.Moorgats skill in portraying contemporary and historic ships with such accuracy, whilst also imbuing their unique spirit in his paintings, is due to his lifelong passion for the sea and all that sail on her. This passion was born from growing up by the River Schelde close to Antwerp, Europes second largest port, and watching the hustle and bustle of the shipping from a very young age.Classically trained in the studio of Willem Dolphyn in Antwerp, Moortgat has gone on to join the Belgian Society of Maritime Artists and the Royal Society of Marine Artists.
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