Engage the Enemy More Closely


This is the fourth painting in Maarten Platje’s monumental “The Hero” series, depicting HMS Victory and Nelson in the year 1805.

It shows what may be seen as the culminating moment of Nelson’s life and career, in all senses. His great flagship Victory has led his line of the British fleet into action against the French and Spanish ships, approaching slowly in the light winds and absorbing terrible punishment from the enemy guns.

Now, at last, Victory has reached the enemy line and broken through. She is finally able to fire a broadside in return and the French ship Bucentaure receives a devastating blow from Victory’s enormous guns. This was surely the turning-point of the battle, justifying Nelson’s daring tactics and his faith in the skill and fortitude of his men.

Yet just a short while later the admiral was shot and mortally wounded at the point of his greatest triumph; and his legend and immortality confirmed.

“Engage the Enemy More Closely” was the final signal hoisted by the admiral’s flagship as the attack went in and it remained flying throughout the action. Nothing can sum up Nelson’s attitude and legend better.


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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