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Views of naval engagements and maps of battles

Thomas Staunton St Clair (1785-1847)

Ciudad Rodrigo, c.1811

N,,o 10 / A distant View of CUIDAD RODRIGO, taken From the OAK-WOOD, near the Village of ESPEJA, / With a Troop of Spanish Guerilhas published 24 May 1813

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; hand coloured; edged with paper | 36.9 x 50.0 cm (image) | RCIN 735155.k

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A view of Ciudad Rodrigo, 1811. Napoleonic Wars (1803-15): Peninsular War (1808-14)

Taken from the nearby village of Espeja (40°33ʹ56ʺN 06°42ʹ57ʺW), this view looks east-north-east towards Ciudad Rodrigo and shows a group of Spanish guerillas camping in a plantation of cork trees. The large tree in the right foreground has had its bark stripped for its cork. According to Kent (2010), the scene shows the men coming and going with lances and dressed in casual clothing, with a variety of hats including wide-brimmed sombreros, and a French helmet which is reminiscent of the 1o Regimiento de Caballería de Voluntarios de Ciudad Rodrigo. The guerillas chat, drink from the pool, sleep and play cards in a pleasant place. 

Guerrilla warfare first emerged during the Peninsular War. It is maintained (de la Pisa, 2011) that the eventual ousting of the French army from Spain in 1811 was the result of the formation of the 'fierce and indomitable unconventional army: the Guerilla' and that the 'Gerrilla came to represent the spirit of rebellion that undermined the foundations of the Napoleonic Empire'. 

This is one of a set of twelve prints in the K.Mil. collection (RCINs 735155.a-m) of the principal occurrences of the campaigns in Spain and Portugal in 1810 and 1811 after paintings by Thomas Staunton St Clair. For more information on this set, see RCIN 735155.

  • Thomas Staunton St Clair (1785-1847) (artist) [bottom left, below edge of view:] Major T. S.t Clair pinx.t

    Charles Turner (1774-1857) (engraver and publisher) [bottom right, below edge of view:] C. Turner Sculp.

    Josiah Boydell (18 January 1752-27 March 1817) (publisher)

    John Booth (active 1794-1840) (publisher)

    Colnaghi & Co (c.1785-1911) (publisher)

    Anthony Molteno (active 1783-1830) (publisher) [bottom centre, below title:] London, Published May 24, 1813, by C. Turner, 50, Warren Str, Fitzroy Sq.r Mess,,rs Colnaghi, Cockspur Street. M,Molteno, Pall Mall, Boydell, Cheapside, & M.r Booth, Duke Str, Portland Chapel.

  • Watermark: None

    Condition: no fold lines

  • 33.1 x 50.0 cm (neatline)

    36.9 x 50.0 cm (image)

    41.3 x 58.0 cm (platemark)

    43.8 x 60.6 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    N,,o 10 / A distant View of CUIDAD RODRIGO, taken From the OAK-WOOD, near the Village of ESPEJA, / With a Troop of Spanish Guerilhas. [bottom, below view]


    (Recto) [bottom left, in Evelyn Heaton-Smith’s hand:] G.3 [and] XV-155-k. (Verso) [top right, black pencil:] 36; [centre, black pencil:] 1811-36.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Spain Twelve Views of the principal occurences of the Campaigns of 1810 and 1811 in Spain and Portugal: by Major T. S.t Clair, engraved by C. Turner, 1812-15.

  • From the collection of military and naval maps and prints formed by George III (1738-1820)

  • Subject(s)

    Ciudad Rodrigo, Castille and Léon, Spain (40°36'00"N 06°32'00"W)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    C. Kent, Estampas de la Guerra de la Independencia en la Provincia de Salamanca. Salamanca, 201

    J. de la Pisa, ‘Napoleon’s nightmare: guerrilla warfare in Spain (1808-1814)’. Small Wars Journal October 2011. Small Wars Foundation (online journal). (accessed 2015/04/10)

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