While interned, he completed this oil on canvas, 20in x 3ft 3in (51 x 99cm), which shows a line of prison hulks lined across Portsmouth harbour pointing towards the horizon, beyond which lies the open sea and France.
Garneray was freed following the abdication of Napoleon in 1814. He returned to Paris where he continued painting and wrote three autobiographies of his life as a sailor, corsair and artist. Noon: Prison hulks in Portsmouth Harbour is one of a number of paintings he made in captivity and these works remain an important record of the prison hulks that were used during the French wars of 1793-1815.
The painting, priced at £18,500, is included in Rountree Tryon’s exhibition War: Land, Air, Sea, which runs from October 10-27 and documents the nature of warfare spanning three centuries. A total of 30 works will be exhibited at Rountree Tryon in London and includes Charles Pears’ Evacuation of St Nazaire.
Other pieces by Thomas Luny (1759-1837) of the Napoleonic War and Gilbert Holiday of the First World War are featured too, alongside painting by contemporary artist Gordon Rushmer of the Royal Marines in Afghanistan in the early 2000s.
These artists are united by “their precision and accuracy in recording each battle scene or troop landing”, says the gallery’s Jamie Rountree. “Today, many of these works are seen as the definitive record of the time.”