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The Capture of the Westmorland...a Historical Episode in Time

By: Daniel Evon

  • A portrait of Francis Basset painted in 1778

Francis Basset, the First Baron de Dunstanville who Commissioned the Artwork by Pompeo Batoni in 1778

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The capture of the British merchant ship Westmorland was a result of the conflict between Great Britain and France and their respective allies as part of the Revolutionary War in America. Seized by the French, the Westmorland was laden with a treasure-trove of gold, jewels, and fine works of art acquired by wealthy British collectors on their Grand Tour of the Old Roman Empire. Here we see a wonderful portrait of Francis Basset, the first Baron de Dunstanville who commissioned the artwork by... Read More

  • British tourists as they decide which paintings and antiquities to purchase
  • Giovanni Paolo Pannini Picture Gallery with Views of Modern Rome
  • Giovanni Paolo Pannini Picture Gallery with Views of Modern Rome
  • Giovanni Paolo Pannini Picture Gallery with Views of Modern Rome
  • Giovanni Paolo Pannini Picture Gallery with Views of Modern Rome
  • Giovanni Paolo Pannini Picture Gallery with Views of Modern Rome

Giovanni Paolo Pannini Picture Gallery with Views of Modern Rome

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/images-articles/20027/box2/1-new-2-giovanni-paolo-pannini-picture-gallery-with-views-of-modern-rome-sm.jpg
/images-articles/20027/box3/1-3-A-letter-from-Joseph-Wright-including-sketches-of-Castel-Saint-Angelo-and-Saincredit-sm.jpg

During 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries young British Bon Vivants began taking post-Oxford treks to Italy in search of the roots of Western civilization, the ancient culture of Rome, and the Prize of acquiring works of art from the fallen empire. With virtually unlimited funds, these wandering aristocrats perfected their skill of the Italian language, commissioned their own portraits within the background of historical Rome, and mingled with the upper crust of an emerging Continent. Here we see a... Read More

  • Sketches of Castel Saint Angelo and Saincredit

A Letter from Joseph Wright including Sketches of Castel Saint Angelo and Saincredit

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Shortly after leaving the port of Livorno, Italy, the Westmorland was captured by the French Navy and escorted to Malaga, Spain, where the goods were auctioned off. The vast majority of the paintings were sold to King Carlos III. Most of the works of art purchased by the king were subsequently given to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid to be used as educational tools for Spanish artists. The English Prize acquired by the French would go on to become a cultural... Read More

  • Joseph Embarkation at Sunset

Joseph Embarkation at Sunset

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The American Revolution became the catalyst for the Anglo-French War that lasted from 1778 to 1783. France signed a peace treaty with the Colonies and loaned a significant amount of money for their war effort with the Crown. England, and France as a consequence, began a defacto war, causing the shipping lanes in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, and English Channel to be fought over for dominance. This left tourists and their treasures vulnerable to capture by the enemy, as we see with the... Read More

  • The Capture of the Westmoreland

The Capture of the Westmorland

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The Capture of the Westmorland was not one of France's most significant military victories during the Anglo-French War, but it represents a cultural victory. With access to these paintings, Spanish artists gained new insight into what was popular in Rome, considered an ancient hub for art, and now Spanish artists could learn new techniques by deeply studying these paintings. During this period, the sharing of culture and art become evident through imitation in taste and fashion, as well as art.... Read More

  • The English Prize: The Capture of the Westmoreland, An Episode of the Grand Tour

The English Prize: The Capture of the Westmorland, An Episode of the Grand Tour

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To learn more about the saga of the Westmorland and the art that was captured from her hold, consider ordering a copy of "The English Prize: The Capture of the Westmorland, An Episode of the Grand Tour" from Amazon.

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