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Exhibition: The English Prize

17 May 2012 to 27 August 2012

Reconstructed with archival discoveries and research in Spanish collections, 'The English Prize' presents 140 objects including paintings, drawings, sculptures, books and maps from the Westmorland, an armed merchant ship sailing from Livorno to London in January 1779.

Consigned to the ship, by a cast of characters that included artists, aristocrats and dealers, was a precious cargo of art and antiquities, books, and luxury goods such as 32 wheels of Parmesan cheese. Captured by two French warships on 7 January 1779 and declared a 'prize of war', the Westmorland and the goods on board were acquired by King Carlos III of Spain who presented many of the works of art to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid.      
Ashmolean Museum