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Views of naval engagements and maps of battles

Thomas Staunton St Clair (1785-1847)

Serra do Busacco, 1810

A View of the SERRO DE BUSACCO at S.T ANTONIO DE CANTARO, shewing the Attack by Marshal Reigniers upon that part of the Position occupied / by the 3.rd Division British and Portuguese under L.t Gen.l Sir Thomas Picton, 27... published 18 Aug 1815

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; hand coloured; edged with paper | 36.9 x 50.1 cm (image) | RCIN 735155.f

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A view of the French attack, under the command of Marshal Jean Louis Ebénézer Reynier (1771-1814) on the 3rd Division of the Anglo-Portuguese troops, commanded by Lieutenant-General Thomas Picton (later Sir Thomas Picton; 1758-1815) on 27 September 1810. Napoleonic Wars (1803-15): Peninsular War (1808-14)

The strong resistance of the 3rd Division in the Battle of Bussaco resulted in their being called 'the fighting division'. They are shown here, on the heights of the ten-mile-long ridge of Bussaco, repulsing the French who were forced to retreat. Picton, shown to the left, astride a white charger, urges his men onwards while Reynier and his men retreat down the slopes. 

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) (engraverand 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 18th 1815, by C. Turner 50 Warren Street, Fitzroy Square, Mess.rs Colnaghi & C.Cockspur Street, M.r Ackerman, Strand, Mess.rs Boydell & C.o Cheapside & M.r Booth, Duke Street, Portland Chapel.

  • Watermark: J WHATMAN [date cropped or partly obscured by paper edging]

    Condition: no fold lines

  • 33.6 x 50.1 cm (neatline)

    36.9 x 50.1 cm (image)

    41.0 x 57.5 cm (platemark)

    43.3 x 60.1 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    A View of the SERRO DE BUSACCO at S.T ANTONIO DE CANTARO, shewing the Attack by Marshal Reigniers upon that part of the Position occupied / by the 3.rd Division British and Portuguese under L.t Gen.l Sir Thomas Picton, 27,,th Sep.r 1810. The 88.th British and 8.th Portuguese Reg.ts in the act of engaging with the Enemy. [bottom centre, below view]

    Annotations:

    (Recto) [‘N.o 6’ has been added in black pencil below the view.] [Bottom left, black pencil, in Evelyn Heaton-Smith’s hand:] G.3 [and] XV-155-f. (Verso) [top right, black pencil:] 32; [bottom right, black pencil:] Crookshank p.46 No 55 AMOT 789 (6); [centre, black pencil:] 1811-32; [bottom right, black pencil, obscured by paper edging:] 21/.

    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 do Bussaco, Coimbra, Portugal (40°20'12"N 08°20'12"W)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    C. de W. Crookshank, Prints of British Military Operations: a cat. raisonné with historical descriptions covering the period from...Abyssinia, London, 1922, no.54. The annotations on the verso of the print record this as no.55 in Crookshank; this is an error

    R. Havard, 'Picton, Sir Thomas (1758–1815)', Dictionary of National Biography, 2004.

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