Study of a Cannon

WAG 7779


This is one of the 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.