FAMAG 1000.7

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Luny, Thomas (1759-1837): Les droits de l'homme, oil on canvas, 61 x 91.4 cms. Presented by De Pass, Alfred A.

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An eighteenth-century Continental Neoclassical architrave frame, parcel gilt and painted black; supplied by Paul Mitchell Limited.

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This picture depicts the driving ashore of the French ship Les Droits de l'homme in Audierne Bay on the night of 13-14 January 1797. Les droits de l'homme is shown against the rocks on her beam end, having lost 2 or three of her masts. In the centre of the painting is the Indefatigable attempting to escape from the shoreline. To the extreme right is the Amazon.

Les Droits De L'Homme: 74 guns, 1,200 men
The Indefatigable: 64 guns, Captn. Sir Edward Pellew
The Amazon: 63 guns, Captn. Robert Carthew

This combined achievement by the two English frigates was referred to by the First Lord of the Admiralty: "You have the credit of beating an 80 gun ship with two frigates, an exploit which has not, I believe, before graced the naval annals."