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The Battle of Malaga
1704

Isaac Sailmaker

The Battle of Malaga 1704 Isaac Sailmaker

This shows the only fleet action fought at sea during the War of the Spanish Succession, 1701–1714 and it was inconclusive. Each fleet included 51 ships of the line and the action was fought in strict line order. The Anglo-Dutch commander-in-chief was Sir George Rooke and his Franco-Spanish opposite number was the Comte de Toulouse, a bastard son of Louis XIV.

In the left foreground the French flagship, the 'Foudroyant', 104 guns, in starboard-quarter view, is closely engaged to starboard with Rooke in the 'Royal Katherine', 90 guns. In the extreme left foreground is the port quarter of a Spanish ship and to the right of the flagships and in the background are groups of ships in action. The Spanish coast is seen in the distance.

French Galleys are also shown towing the French ships in and out of the action. The artist has shown the battle from a high horizon, depicting a panoramic view and colourful emphasis on flags and ensigns. Although the battle itself was indecisive and neither side lost a ship, the casualties were heavy and it put an end to the Franco-Spanish attempt to capture Gibraltar.

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