First Foot Guards
Sortie made by the garrison of Gibraltar 1781
This painting by John
Trumbull (1756-1843) depicts the events of the night of 26 November 1781 when
British troops, long besieged by Spanish forces at Gibraltar, made a sudden
attack against the encroaching enemy batteries. The focal point of the painting
is the tragic death of the Spanish officer Don Jose de Barboza. Abandoned by his
fleeing troops, he charged the attacking column alone, fell mortally wounded,
and, refusing all assistance, died near his post. Trumbull portrays him
rejecting the aid of General George Elliott, commander of the British troops.
This work was executed between 1786 and 1789.