11 of 57

Thomas Chambers
Capture of H.B.M. Frigate Macedonian by U.S. Frigate United States,October 25, 1812
1852
oil
34 3/4 x 50 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Sheldon and Caroline Keck in honor of Elizabeth Broun



Two lumbering ships, with shot-punctured sails, battle on rough waves amidst heavy clouds of cannon smoke. The drama of the spirited skirmish is effectively conveyed through the use of bright, flat colors and repetitious patterns. Chambers, like many artists at the time, relied on a commemorative print of the historic confrontation that had occurred forty years earlier. The capture of the Macedonian, reputedly one of the best ships in British service, was the most impressive marine battle during the War of 1812.