The People of Gibraltar
1853 - Clarkson Frederick Stanfield - With Minor Alterations


Clarkson Frederick Stanfield was born in 1793 and became a prominent marine artist. Admirably he was so named after the slave trade abolitionist, Thomas Clarkson.




Clarkson Frederick Stanfield ( 1845 - David Roberts ) ( see LINK )

His picture of the Battle of Trafalgar is perhaps his best known work.


Sketch for 'The Battle of Trafalgar


The Battle of Trafalgar  ( 1850s )

Taking the rather narrow perspective of looking at his work through the eyes of somebody interested only in works of art depicting his home town, Stanfield is hardly worth a mention. As far as I can see he only painted three pictures in which the Rock forms part of the background noise and even one of these is almost certainly mislabelled as the Rock in question does not look at all like Gibraltar.

However, his painting of HMS The Victory Bearing the Body of Nelson Towed into Gibraltar after the Battle of Trafalgar which was made to order for Sir Samuel Morton Peto at Somerleyton Hall makes up for this. Unfortunately the picture which now belongs to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is not on display. 


The Original - HMS The Victory Bearing the Body of Nelson Towed into Gibraltar after the Battle of Trafalgar  - It seems unfinished      ( 1853 )

There are, however, copies in other museums and in private ownership. All are slightly different to each other but all are attributed to Stanfield. Is it possible that so many copies should all have been painted by the same artist? 
 

Victoria and Albert Museum


Guildhall Art Gallery London


Unknown owner


Government Art Collection


Another less well known and quite different version, this one possibly by Stanfield himself, depicting more or less the same scene ( 1850s )


Labelled Gibraltar - almost certainly incorrectly



19th century "copy" sold by Bonhams

Curiously during the renovations carried out in the Convent in 1997, Stanfield's famous 'Victory' picture was specifically chosen to be hung over the fireplace of the drawing room.  I would imagine that it is this particular picture that was chosen for the Gibraltar stamp issued to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the death of Nelson. It is very similar to the one sold by Bonhams shown above. Whatever the case, it would seem to be yet another version.