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USS Constitution Escaping from the British, July 1812

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This large oil on canvas painting by the American marine artist Julian Oliver (J. O.) Davidson (1853-1894) depicts USS Constitution under full sail catching a squall and escaping a British squadron in July, 1812. The American frigate’s escape from an overwhelming British force was the culmination of a three-day chase in becalmed conditions, during which Constitution’s crew had resorted to towing the ship with her boats and kedging with an anchor in an effort to escape. The multi-day chase came to an end as the ominous clouds of a squall built on the horizon. Hull ordered Constitution’s sails furled as the storm approached, and the British, not used to the weather in American waters, followed suit. As soon as the squall struck, Hull quickly spread his sails again and seized upon the squall, leaving the British in his wake.

Davidson, born in Cumberland, Maryland, specialized in naval illustration and created many large oil paintings of War of 1812 naval battles.

Creator
Julian Oliver Davidson

Date Created
1884

Medium
Canvas, Oil paint

Dimensions
[H]60 1/4 in. [W]36 1/4 in.

Catalog Number
571.1a,b

Credit Line
USS Constitution Museum Collection. Members of the New York Yacht Club Gift.

Terms of Use

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

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