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The Death of Gen: Sir Ralph Abercrombie

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The Death of Gen: Sir Ralph Abercrombie

by Giovanni Vendramini, printed by J. Matthews, published by John Peter Thompson, after Sir Robert Ker Porter
stipple engraving, published 4 June 1804
25 1/4 in. x 37 3/4 in. (640 mm x 959 mm) paper size
Purchased, 1963
Reference Collection
NPG D13764

Artistsback to top

  • J. Matthews, Printer. Artist associated with 1 portrait.
  • Sir Robert Ker Porter (1777-1842), Painter and traveller. Artist associated with 7 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.
  • John Peter Thompson (1792-1819), Engraver, printer and printseller. Artist associated with 20 portraits.
  • Giovanni Vendramini (1769-1839), Engraver and architect. Artist associated with 25 portraits.

Sittersback to top

This portraitback to top

This portrait of 1795 shows St Vincent in the newly-designed naval full-dress uniform. Already a distinguished admiral, his greatest victory at the Battle of St Vincent (1797) was, however, yet to come. The close-up format and St Vincent's fresh, ruddy complexion lend the painting an air of frankness and candour. He was known for his blunt style of command and shows none of the heroic airs often adopted on such occasions. This portrait was probably painted during the few months leave he spent in England before taking up his post in the Mediterranean as Commander-in-Chief.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D13765: Descriptive Sketch of the Print of the Death of Gen: Sir Ralph Abercrombie (after)

Placesback to top

  • Place portrayed: Egypt (Alexandria, Egypt)

Events of 1804back to top

Current affairs

William Pitt returns to office and forms a second coalition administration, retaining many of those who had served under his predecessor Henry Addington but specifically excluding his arch rival Charles James Fox .

Art and science

William Blake starts writing Jerusalem. One of his most ambitious allegorical poems, it took nearly eight years to complete.
Amidst infighting about submissions to the annual exhibition, attempts are made to unseat painter Benjamin West as President of the Royal Academy and elect architect James Wyatt instead.


Napoleon declares himself Emperor of France and is crowned as Napoleon I by Pope Pius VII in Paris.
Haiti achieves independence led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, the patriot and martyr who had seized control from the French in 1801. He becomes a symbolic figure of freedom for the British anti-slavery movement.

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