Treasure Ships, Frigates

The painting here illustrates a little known very significant, dramatic frigate action which caused Spain to enter the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars allied to France.

"Treasure Ships, Frigates", 46 x 30 cm (18" x 12"), £6,000 (about $7,700) by Gordon Frickers.


On course for Trafalgar, intelligence  believed by the British Government who sent 4 British Royal Navy frigates to arrest 2 Royal Spanish Navy frigates.

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‘The treasure ship Las Mercedes’, a frigate, was lost due to espionage, misinformation, fake news, tragedy, bungling, 5th October 1804.

The Nelson and Trafalgar paintings.
‘The Loss of Las Mercedes’ the definitive version of this event, was one of my 35 paintings shown by special invitation of the European Parliament, Brussels, May 2011.

Painting the treasure ships

is based primarily on the detailed account to be found in W.M. James The Naval History of Great Britain, volume 3,  (from page 280 to 282) ISBN 0-85177-907-7

With this painting I have chosen to show you the most dramatic moment of this frigate combat fought on the  5th October 1804.

The British frigates, more deftly handled than the Spanish frigates have taken favoured positions off the quarters of the Spanish ships.

This skilful manoeuvre by the British frigates makes the defender’s returning fire more difficult to aim while incoming fire semi rakes the victim.

Tragically, at the height of the action One of the four Spanish frigates,  Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes” blew up with great loss of life and promptly sank, taking with her most of the people including almost an entire family.

The Spanish ships were Farma, Medea, Mercedes, Clara, the British were, Medusa, Indefatigable, Amphion, and Lively.

The interception

based upon Intelligence received by the British Government was managed faultlessly, but …
“The loss of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes” version 2015 detail (2)

Hyperlink to > Further Reading <

images, the development of this painting, the story and more.

"The loss of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes" version 2015 detail.
“The loss of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes” version 2015 detail.

Classic painting :

a timeless subject although less well known today, of real significance to the story of the Napoleonic Wars, Nelson and Trafalgar

Any reputable gallery should be delighted to offer you this painting for this price… a sound investment.

The the full story of “Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes” and her treasure is, as is often the case, is much more intriguing and not over yet… her wreck has been located.

Acquire, simply, securely; to place a deposit or payment on our Payment page  to make this or a similar painting, your Gordon Frickers original painting.

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