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IIIF Actions
Benjamin West, 1738–1820
and John Trumbull, 1756–1843

The Battle of La Hogue

Former Title(s):

The destruction of the French fleet at La Hogue, 1692 [1780, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

1778, retouched 1806
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
64 3/4 x 96 1/4 inches (164.5 x 244.5 cm)

Signed and dated in black paint, lower left: "B. West. 1778, retouched 1806."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
battle | bayonets | boats | costume | death | drama | figurehead | fire | flags | fleets | La Hogue, Battle of, 1692 | longboats | marine art | military art | sea | ships | ships of the line | smoke | soldiers | Soleil Royal | swords | war | warships
Associated Places:
Basse-Normandie | Europe | France | La Hogue | Manche
Associated People:
Rooke, Sir George (c.1650–1709), naval officer, was born in Canterbury, Kent, the second son of Colonel Sir William Rooke (1620/21–1691) of St Lawrence House, near Canterbury
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

The Battle of La Hogue took place in 1692 after the French King Louis XIV attempted a Franco-Irish invasion to restore the exiled James II to the English throne. The invading fleet was met in the English Channel by a superior AngloDutch fleet and was annihilated. In this painting, Benjamin West depicts the final moments of the battle when Admiral George Rooke (at left, holding a sword) entered the Bay of La Hogue, where the enemy had retreated, and burned twelve French ships of the line. Yet, historical accuracy was not West’s paramount concern here: the French flagship Soleil Royal in the center background had actually been destroyed days earlier at Cherbourg. This was West’s second version of the subject: it was begun in 1778, completed by West’s pupil John Trumbull in 1785, and retouched by West himself in 1806. The smaller first version, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1780, is now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

The Battle of La Hogue (Yale Center for British Art, 2012-07-09 - 2012-09-02) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

A handbook to the gallery of British paintings in the Art Treasures Exhibition, being a reprint of critical notices originally published in The Manchester Guardian. , Bradbury and Evans, London, 1857, p. 28, N5056 M6 H3 1857 (YCBA RARE BOOKS) Also available at SML Fiche B1244 Fiche N.4.2.220 and online at books.google.com [ORBIS]

Ann Uhry Abrams, The Valiant Hero : Benjamin West and Grand-Style History Painting, , Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1985, p. 194, fig. 124, NJ18 .W52 A27 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Robert C. Alberts, Benjamin West : A Biography, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1978, pp. 127, 132, 145, 153, 165, 182, 326, 390, 397, p. 1 in unnumered plate section between pp. 270 and 271, NJ18 W52 A6 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Benjamin West : American Painter at the English Court, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 1989, p. 61, no. 21, NJ18 W52 S72 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Catalogue of the art treasures of the United Kingdom : collected at Manchester in 1857., Bradbury and Evans, London, p. 82, no. 109, N5056 .M35 M25 1857 (YCBA) Also available in Hathitrust [YCBA]

Christie's sale catalogue : important old master paintings and sculptures, part 1 : 28 January 2009, Christie's, p. 90, lot 34, Auction Catalogues (YCBA)

Crowds view West memorial exhibit, American Art News, vol. 20, December 10, 1921, p. 4, Available online via JSTOR

David H. Dickason, Benjamin West on William Williams, a previously unpublished letter, Winterthur Portfolio, vol. 6, 1970, pp. 127, 132, Available online via JSTOR.

John Dillenberger, Benjamin West : The Context of his Life's Work, with Particular Attention to Paintings with Religious Subject Matter, Including a Correlated Version of Early Nineteenth-Century Lists of West's Paintings, Exhibitions, and Sales Records of his Works..., , Trinity University Press, San Antonio, 1977, pp. 130, 152, NJ18 W52 +D55 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

William Dunlap, A history of the rise and progress of the arts of design in the United States, C. E. Goodspeed & Co., Boston, 1918, Vol. 1, pp. 69, 70, 72, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 108, 141, 143, N6505 .D85 1918 (LC) (LSF) Also available online via HathiTrust. [OCLC]

Joseph Farington, The Diary of Joseph Farington, , Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1978, vol. 7, p. 2752, NJ18 F2164 A3 1978 (YCBA) [YCBA]

John Galt, The life, studies, and works of Benjamin West, 1820, pp. 222, 225, ND237 W45 G4 (YCBA) in Rare Books and Manuscripts [YCBA]

Albert Ten Eyck Gardner, West's legacy, Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 24, March 1966, p. 229, fig. 4, Available online via JSTOR

Irma B. Jaffe, John Trumbull, patriot-artist of the American Revolution, New York Graphic Society, Boston, 1975, pp. 70, 316, fig. 44, NJ18 .T73 J34 (LC)+ Oversize (SML) [OCLC]

William L. Pressly, Review of Mather Brown : Early American artist in England, by Dorinda Evans, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, vol. 133, December 1984, p. 69, Available online via JSTOR.

Susan Rather, Benjamin West's professional endgame and the historical conundrum of William Williams, William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, vol. 59, October 2002, p. 837n, F221 .W55 (LC) (SML) Also available online via JSTOR.

Edgar Preston Richardson, William Williams -- A dissenting opinion, American Art Journal, vol. 4, 1972, pp. 8, 9, 18 (detail on p. 8), Available online via JSTOR.

George Henry Robins, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Unequalled Collection of Historical Pictures, and Other Admired Compositions, the Works of the Revered and Highly-Gifted Painter, the Late Benjamin West, Esq., President of the Royal Academy, , Beaufort House, London, 1829, p. 32, lot 101, V2181 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Allen Staley, Benjamin West, Raphael West and the Floating Batteries, Burlington Magazine, vol. 155, no. 1321, April 2013, pp. 244, 245, 246, fig. 36, N1 +B87 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

The Art Treasures Exhibition : the English school, Manchester Guardian, Manchester : UK, Feb 03 1857, Available online : ProQuest Historical Newspapers

The Companion to a Walk Through the Art Exhibition of Paintings and Engravings at Old Trafford Palace, A. Ireland and Co., Manchester : UK, 1857, p. 53, no. 109, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=gri.ark:/13960/t10p4pj8s&view=1up&seq=1 [Website]

John Trumbull, Autobiography, reminiscences, and letters of John Trumbull, Wiley and Putnam, New York & London, 1841, pp. vi, 90, 92, J18 .T73 841T (LSF-Haas Arts Special Collections) Also available online via HathiTrust.

John Trumbull, Autobiography, reminiscences, and letters of John Trumbull, Wiley and Putnam, New York & London, 1841, pp. vi, 90, 92, 00625249

John Trumbull, The autobiography of Colonel John Trumbull, patriot-artist, 1756-1843, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1953, p. 87, NJ18 .T73 A3 1953 (LC) (LSF) [OCLC]

Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Objects sold or exchanged during the year 2005-2006, Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 136, 2005-2006, p. 43, Available online via JSTOR.

Helmut von Erffa, Benjamin West at the Height of His Career, American Art Journal, vol. 1, Spring 1969, pp. 23, 28, JSTOR [ORBIS]

Helmut von Erffa, Review of Benjamin West and the taste of his time, by Grose Evans, Art Journal, vol. 20, Winter 1960-1961, p. 124, N81 .A887 (LC)+ Oversize (LSF) Also available online via JSTOR.

Helmut von Erffa, The Paintings of Benjamin West, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1986, p. 210, no. 90-91, NJ18 W52 A12 +E73 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

West's Gallery, A catalogue of pictures painted by the late Benjamin West, Esq. president of the Royal Academy, London, 1827, p. 17, no. 69, V2179 (YCBA) [OCLC]

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