This magnificent painting of HMS Victory is the first in Maarten Platje’s monumental series of five pictures depicting Victory and Nelson in the year of 1805. Entitled “The Hero” series, it will trace the great story of that year and the immortal Nelson from May – the moment captured in this painting where we see Victory hammering across the Atlantic on her only full-speed high seas voyage – to December and the extraordinary poignancy of the scene in which Victory finally gives up The Hero’s body to the yacht Chatham in the River Medway, her admiral’s flag flying at half-mast above the little yacht.

Maarten Platje’s painting shows Victory during a gamble audacious even by Nelson’s reckless standards, when he took the British fleet away from the defence of Britain and the Mediterranean to hunt down Villeneuve’s enemy fleet in the West Indies. If Nelson had guessed the enemy’s destination wrong, or had failed to catch him on his return to Europe, Britain would have been wide open to defeat and perhaps invasion.

Maarten knows the sea well – he has sailed for many years and accompanied the Royal Dutch Navy on manoeuvres as an official artist – and has found here a scene of great beauty where the dawn washes the ships’ port sides, the sky fills with the light of the coming day and we see a delightful effect of cloudy weather at the horizon, from which the British ships are emerging after sailing all night at full speed. But this is not at heart simply a picturesque scene. These are the most powerful battleships in the world, with their three accompanying frigates, straining every sinew for extra speed (they travelled up to 170 miles a day) on a deadly serious mission.

As their admiral wrote: “I suppose if I do not find the French fleet…I shall be tried”.


Limited, hand-signed art prints. These reproductions will be delivered to you in a shipping tube by parcel post.

Art prints

Art is the product of skill and craft. It stands for originality, inspiration, authenticity & uniqueness. As an artist, Platje values the original characteristics of his work for good reason. Reproductions of this work deserve the same respect.
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Custom oil paintings by Maarten Platje

Have you ever thought about giving a commission for a painting? Maarten is happy to talk to you about the possibilities.