Napoleon Bonaparte on Board the 'Bellerophon' in Plymouth Sound
Oil on canvas. Charles Lock Eastlake, 1815. Royal Museums Greenwich.
Scene in Plymouth Sound in August 1815
Oil on canvas. John James Chalon, 1816. Royal Museums Greenwich.
As Royal Museums Greenwich notes,
The painting was enormously popular when it was exhibited at No.236 Piccadilly in 1815, and although based on the eyewitness account of Eastlake when a young man, the end result is heavily contrived. Several certificates were issued to testify to the true resemblance of the painting to Napoleon from which Charles Turner created a well-known mezzotint from another version of the painting. The exhibition and the print both made Eastlake's name and earned him a considerable sum.Charles Turner's 1816 mezzotint omits the other men in Eastlake's painting in favor of focusing on Napoleon, but Eastlake's detailed reproduction of a sailor in the lower left corner is particularly interesting to this blog.
Chalon's 1816 painting also includes a few interesting sailors, though the details are hard to see in the reproduction quality I was able to find online.
One sailor in a striped blue and white guernsey frock stands on the bow of a ship, a red handkerchief loosely tied around his neck at the sternum and the ends hanging out. He also wears blue trousers. I couldn't quite make it out, but it looked to me like he is wearing some kind of cap.
Note: This detail is taken from Wikimedia commons, not RMG.Two men rowing a boat wear striped shirts and white-backed vests. One wears a striped red and white cap, and the other wears a black round hat.