GEOFF HUNT, P.P.R.S.M.A. (British, Contemporary)
Oil on Linen Canvas
37 ¾ x 60 ½ inches (96 x 156 cm)
Signed, lower right
Just one of the episodes in the incredible life of Lord Cochrane, the attack by the Chilean navy (commanded by Cochrane) on Valdivia during the Chilean War of Independence, one of the key moments in Chile's struggle for independence from Spain. Cochrane's squadron is portrayed off Puerto Corral, in Bahia Corral, on the morning of 4th February, 1820.
On the night of 3rd February Lord Cochrane's forces were landed to the north of the forts lining the west coast of the estuary. Under a rapid and enterprising night assault all these forts were abandoned by their defenders by morning. Two of his vessels - the brig Intrepido and the schooner Moctezuma - then entered the bay though they came under fire from Fort Niebla on the eastern shore. But on the arrival of Cochrane's big frigate O'Higgins this resistance ceased and defending troops abandoned this fort too. The following day (or the day after that?) the two smaller vessels continued upriver to Valdivia. leaving behind the O'Higgins.
In Geoff Hunt's magnificent painting we can see, between O'Higgins and the brig Intrepido (far right), the distant view upriver towards Valdivia. Fort Niebla appears to the left of O'Higgins' bow, in the gap between O'Higgins and the schooner Moctezuma (and of course more of Fort Niebla would lie behind the O'Higgins.) Intrepido carries Cochrane's command flag at the main.
Commissioned through Marine Artists for a Private Collection in Chile
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