Battle of the Espero convoy. Part 13



Battle of the Espero convoy. Part 13


In the centre of the painting is a lifeboat in choppy seas with at least eight people on board. A shirt and some trousers are tied to the two masts of the lifeboat and are blowing in the wind. A man wearing a white uniform with a red emblem on his right shoulder is firing a flare in the direction of a seagull flying nearby. A man in the centre of the boat is holding onto the mast pole with his left hand.

Label reads “19”; signed by the author; caption reads “(13)… Trovammo la forza di ridere, misi l’acqua a razione, da mangiare trovai cera d’api, stagnola che conservava trà le pieghe, un pò di cotognata, e qualche buccia di banana, mangiammo anche la stagnola. A prora fù drizzato un remo, e un’altro nè fù drizzato a poppa: sù uno un paio di mutande, sull’altro un camisaccio. Ci ponemmo ai remi, eravamo rimasti in 7, e i giorni passavano, e un’altro dei superstiti, morì per cancrena, in seguito a ferita, ad una spalla, per tutto il giorno tenemmo il corpo a bordo, nella speranza di qualche incontro, poi lo calammo in mare. Al 7o giorno vidi un gabbiano, che si cullava sulle onde, lo feci secco con la Very, e lo cucinai dentro l’elmetto, col fuoco acceso con un remo rotto. L’8o e il 9o giorno passarono…”

Caption translates as: “(13)… We found the strength to laugh. I put water on rations. I found some beeswax and tinfoil, containing some quince marmalade and some banana peels between the folds. We ate even the tinfoil. One oar was raised at the bow, another aft: on one was some underwear, on the other one a sailor’s blouse. We grabbed the oars - there were only seven of us left. The days went by and another one of the survivors died of gangrene because of wounded shoulder. We kept the body aboard all day long, hoping to meet someone; then, we buried him at sea. On the seventh day, I saw a seagull cradling on the waves. I killed it with my Very gun and I cooked it inside my helmet, lighting a fire with a broken oar. The eighth and ninth day went by…”

Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage




One tempera on paper, pasted on mount board


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Angiolino Filiputti, “Battle of the Espero convoy. Part 13,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 14, 2024,

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