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Views of naval engagements and maps of battles

Thomas Staunton St Clair (1785-1847)

Serra da Estrela, 1811

SERRO DE ESTRELLO ON DE NEVE. The March of Baggage following the Army - May 1811 published 18 Aug 1815

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; hand coloured; edged with paper | 37.1 x 50.4 cm (image) | RCIN 735155.l

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A view of the baggage train of the Anglo-Portuguese army through the Serra de Estrela in May 1811. Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815): Peninsular War (1808-1814).

The Serra da Estrela is in mid Portugal, lying between the Tagus and Douro rivers, to the north-east of Coimbra and is itself the source of the River Mondego. This view may be taken looking south-west towards the snow-covered peak of Estrela, obscured by dark clouds and a squall of rain or hail, in the distance. A strong wind blows from right to left, bending the trees and causing capes, blankets, coat tails and skirts to stream out horizontally. The snaking line of the baggage trail illustrates the slow rate at which the army must have moved. The date of this view – 16 May 1811 – was just ten days after the battle of Fuentes de Oñoro (see RCIN 73515.b) which had taken place on the Spanish border, perhaps 50 km to the north-east of the place where this view was painted. Sabugal (see 735155.i), where the army had fought back the French just six weeks previously, would be to the south-east. 

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.t

    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)

    Rudolph Ackermann (1764-1834) [bottom centre, below title:] London, Published August 1815, by C. Turner 50 Warren Street, Fitzroy Square, Messrs Colnaghi & C.Cockspur Street,  M.r Ackerman, Strand, Boydell & C.o Cheapside & M.r Booth, Duke Street, Portland Chapel.

  • Watermark: J WHATMAN 1811

    Condition: no fold lines

  • 34.1 x 50.4 cm (neatline)

    37.1 x 50.4 cm (image)

    41.2 x 57.6 cm (platemark)

    43.9 x 60.3 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    SERRO DE ESTRELLO ON DE NEVE. The March of Baggage following the Army - May 1811. [bottom centre, below view]


    (Recto) [bottom centre, above title, black pencil:] N,,o 11; [bottom left, in Evelyn Heaton-Smith’s hand, black pencil:] G.3 [and] XV-155-l. (Verso) [top right, black pencil:] 37; [bottom right, black pencil:] 21/; [centre, black pencil:] 1811-37.

    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)

    Serra da Estrela, Guarda, Portugal (40°17'53"N 07°37'31"W)

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