French Naval Engraving

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French Naval Engraving
Rachel Nellis
April 22, 2022

This recently acquired 1790 engraving depicts two French frigates, the Astrée and the Hermione, engaged in battle against a convoy of six British warships off Cape Breton Island on July 21, 1781. Engraved by François Dequevauviller, after the painting by Auguste-Louis de Rossel de Cercy, the print was a collaboration of the two artists, who planned a series of eighteen engravings of French naval engagements during the Revolutionary War. Research Services Librarian Rachel Nellis discusses the print as a record both of this important historical event and of the remarkable printing history of the piece.