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Art European

Britannia's Palette

The Arts of Naval Victory

by (author) Nicholas Tracy

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2007
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2007
    List Price

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Britannia's Palette looks at the lives of British artists who witnessed the naval war against the French Republic and Empire between 1793 and 1815. This band of brothers, through their artistic and entrepreneurial efforts, established the images of the war at sea that were central to the understanding their contemporaries had of events - images that endure to this day. In this unprecedented book, Nicholas Tracy reveals the importance of the self-employed artist to the study of a nation at war. He includes lively accounts of serving officers, retired sailors, and academy-trained artists who, often under the threat of debtor's prison, struggled to balance the standards of art with the public desire for heroic, reassuring images. Containing over eighty illustrations, Britannia's Palette explores a varied and exciting collection of paintings that reveal the poignancy of the human experience of war.

About the author

Nicholas Tracy is an adjunct professor of History at the University of New Brunswick, with his research focusing mainly on naval and seapower history from the age of sail to the present. He is an Associate of the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society, a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Visiting fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. He currently lives in New Brunswick.

Nicholas Tracy's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"An excellent book. It constantly surprises with new insights and information and it provides within one cover a clear, well-constructed narrative of this important aspect of Britain's naval heritage that places the artists and their work in their wider historical, and operational context." International Journal of Maritime History

Other titles by Nicholas Tracy