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A brief encounter between: 'The Death of Nelson' and 'Falling Warrior'

Daniel Maclise and Henry Moore

Man dying on board the deck of a ship

Daniel Maclise 1806-1870, 'The Death of Nelson' 1859-1864

Metal sculpture of prone man

Henry Moore wrote:

'I wanted a figure that was still alive a figure in the act of falling, and the shield became a support emphasising the dramatic moment of death'.

Moore's figure represents an unknown warrior, while Maclise depicts the very real Admiral Lord Nelson at the same moment: fatally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar and supported not by his shield but by his faithful deputy, Captain Hardy. Although Nelson was carried below and died three hours later, it was common for artists to suggest that his moment of death was on the quarter deck of the Victory.