The Battle of Saintes by Thomas Luny

One of the sugar sculptures holding a golden flag
Published : 24 Mar 2017 Last update : 26 Aug 2017

Another addition has been added to Berrington's collection of paintings depicting the naval battles for Lord Admiral Rodney. The Battle of Saintes by Thomas Luny, 1785 has been returned to Berrington to be looked after and displayed.

Inside the Dining Room at Berrington we are currently housing the exhibition ‘War and Pieces’ by Bouke de Vries. This piece of art is a series of figurines and shattered porcelain which resonates with the scenes of battle from the paintings in the room. These pictures were painted by Thomas Luny, a friend of the Harley family.

These paintings were probably commissioned by Thomas Harley himself to honour his daughter’s father in law, Admiral Lord Rodney. Rodney's naval victories against France and Spain in the West Indies ensured the safety of the British ‘sugar islands’.

Now another addition to the collection has been added as The Battle of Saintes by Thomas Luny, 1785 has been returned to Berrington to be looked after and displayed.

The painting was generously donated to us. It depicts the raw hardship of battles in the eighteenth century, with the sails torn and the smoke of the cannons still rising high.

The Battle of Saintes was fought in the April of 1782. It was a strategic battle in which Rodney recognised that continued fleet action was the only means of stopping the French. It is claimed that Rodney began by using traditional tactics, but he then astonished the French by piercing their line of battle in two places.

It was one of many of Admiral Rodney’s battles, and it is a memory that we want to preserve. The painting itself and its frame however have both paint loss and guild loss. It is because of this that it needs conservation work to be carried out. This will ensure that both the painting and the original frame are maintained to the best standard.

To ensure that the painting receives the best possible care we hired Annabelle Monahan, a paintings conservator. The work done by Monahan could only happen due to the generousity of our visitors. Each visit that they have made to one of these special contributes to our conservation projects at Berrington.

This conservation work is needed to ensure that this element of Berrington’s history is preserved, so that people can enjoy it for years to come.