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This panoramic sketch presents are remarkable parallel with the same topic as treated in oil by William Anderson in his painting of troops embarking at Blackwall in 1793 and another version of that subject in the Yale Center for British Art. However, all show an event that was frequent during the wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries when British troops were sent overseas; in this case probably only across the Channel, given that the ships involved as transports are small, though only lightly sketched in. The artist was primarily one of figure subjects and here shows a busy scene of baggage waggons arriving at a quay and officers about to take leave of their wives and families. A horse is swayed up into the waiting transport in a canvas sling while another waits its turn. The central group, including dragoons (cavalry soldiers, in blue) are framed to right and left by sailors: those on the right are working, hauling on a line and climbing rigging; those on the left lounge on piles of cordage waiting to go aboard and are clearly entertained by the general confusion.
Credit Line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London