Joseph Mallord William Turner’s painting, The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, is a remarkable work depicting the majestic retirement from service of the HMS Temeraire. The painting captures the moment when the Temeraire was towed towards its final destination to be demolished. Yet, it is not merely a document of an event but rather an idealized version that uses artistic license. Turner has included only one tugboat instead of the two which would typically have been required for even this large vessel. The center of attention then is placed upon the HMS Temeraire, a 98-gun ship of the Royal Navy which played a significant role in the battle of Trafalgar.
Turner went on to create other notable works such as The Burning Of The Houses Of Lords And Commons, 16Th October, 1834 in 1835. This painting is also noteworthy as it displays Turner’s unique style through the use of bright colors and abstract shapes to represent flames and smoke. Through these paintings, we can see how Turner had exceptional vision and understanding that allowed him to depict historical events with brilliant visual imagery.