The Battle of Malaga, 13th August, 1704
Studio of Peter Monamy (1681–1746)
Oil on canvas
The Battle of Malaga, 13th August, 1704, was a major battle between Anglo-Dutch and Franco-Spanish fleets in the Mediterranean during the War of the Spanish Succession. Three weeks after the Allies had captured Gibraltar, Comte de Toulouse sailed from Toulon with fifty ships of the line intending to defeat the allied fleet and retake the fortress. Admiral Sir George Rooke was in overall command of the Anglo-Dutch fleet, comprising fifty-three of the line, with Admiral Clowdisley Shovell leading the van division and the Dutch Admiral Callenburgh the rear. His ships were low in ammunition, much having been expended during the bombardment of Gibraltar.
De Toulouse was sighted a few miles east of Gibraltar on 9 August and both fleets joined battle off Malaga four days later. The action developed into a hard cannonading duel, lasting many hours but devoid of decisive result. Although neither fleet lost a ship many were badly damaged and casualties were extremely heavy. Next day de Toulouse made no attempt to renew the action and Rooke got into Gibraltar unchallenged to repair damage. Then, having reinforced the garrison, he took the main body of the fleet home, leaving a small squadron under Sir John Leake to winter at Lisbon. Although a drawn battle, Malaga had real strategic significance. The Franco-Spanish attempt to
recapture Gibraltar had failed and the Allies were not challenged again at sea for the rest of the war.
Monamy is known to have painted several versions of this Battle
Dimensions: 12 ¾ x 17 ¼ in. (32.4 x 43.9)
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