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Luny Thomas
(1759—1837)

Thomas Luny was born in London in 1759 and received his formal training under the watchful eyes of Francis Holman. Luny’s first exhibited work was in 1777 at the Society of Artists. Luny was living on his own by 1780. In 1780, Holman exhibited his The Engagement between Sir G.B. Rodney and the Spanish Squadron at the Royal Academy – a work that Luny would have been very familiar with. Only 2 years later, 1782, Luny produced his own version of this scene (illustrated here) and chose to exhibit it at the Royal Academy. By 1782 Luny had moved to 42, Ratcliff Highway and was now truly on his own and over the next 10 years exhibited approximately 22 works at the Royal Academy. In 1793, at the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars, it is said that he joined the Royal Navy as a purser and served under Captain George Tobin, R.N. This assumption is supported by the fact that he ceased exhibiting his works that same year. It is generally believed that Luny retired from the Navy in 1810 due to rheumatoid arthritis and settled in Teignmouth around the same time. His illness, which was quite serious, had not only confined him to a wheelchair, but also caused him to lose the use of his hands. In order to paint, he had to either hold the brush between his wrists or have them strapped to on. Even with this serious disability his production was impressive. Between 1807 and his death in 1837 his account book lists some 2,200 works; adding in the works painted before 1807, he must have produced more than 3,000 paintings in his lifetime.


Gambia, 2001, Battle of Navarino

Greece, 1977, Battle of Navarino

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