Admiral Sir Robert Calder's Action off Cape Finisterre, 23 July 1805

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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The Scottish marine painter William Anderson was active in London and is reputed to have worked in shipbuilding before becoming an artist, but nothing is known about his training. He moved to London in the 1780s and exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1787 and 1834, and the British Institution from 1810. Although he painted landscapes and rustic scenes, he is best known for his marine views influenced by seventeenth-century Dutch painting. He recorded naval engagements, including events such as Admiral Robert Calder's action off Cape Finisterre. In 1805 Calder was detached to intercept the Franco-Spanish fleet commanded by the Comte de Villeneuve on its return from the West Indies. On 22 July Villeneuve’s fleet passed him in a thick fog on the way to Vigo and Calder only succeeded in cutting off two ships.

National Maritime Museum



Admiral Sir Robert Calder's Action off Cape Finisterre, 23 July 1805


early 19th C


oil on canvas


H 76 x W 122 cm

Accession number


Work type



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