'Two studies of a cannon', Daniel Maclise

Faint outline drawing of a cannonStudy of a cannon by Maclise. WAG 7779

Faint outline drawing of a cannon

Study of a cannon by Maclise. WAG 7780

Pencil on paper, about 1859/1862

These are only two of many drawings that Maclise made in preparation for his colossal fresco in the House of Lords, commissioned as part of a scheme to redecorate the Houses of Parliament. The Walker's painting of 'The Death of Nelson' by Maclise is the oil study for this fresco.

Like Benjamin West working fifty years earlier, Maclise also spoke to survivors of the Battle of Trafalgar. He sought out actual examples of redundant naval equipment to study for authenticity. The two drawings of a cannon show the artist’s sketching notes such as ‘Cartridge box’, ‘wad of twine’ on the first and ‘only painted black white’ on the second.

Faint outline drawing of sections of the cannon

Detail of sketch showing written notes