Portrait of an English third rate by Willem van de Velde the Elder

Portrait of an English third rate

Willem van de Velde the Elder

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Product details Portrait of an English third rate

Portrait of an English third rate

Willem van de Velde the Elder

A view of a ship of about 66 guns, from abaft the port beam, drying sails: fore course, mizzen and topsails, spritsail and spritsail topsail loosed. There is an unidentified pennant worn over the ensign. The hull has square decorated gun ports and mounts the following guns on the broadside: thirteen on the gun deck, twelve on the upper deck, two on the forecastle, five on the quarterdeck, two on the poop. Robinson suggests it is a ship such as the 'Fairfax', 'Monmouth' or 'Rupert', which in 1677 mounted twenty-six guns on the gun deck, twenty-four on the upper deck, ten on the quarterdeck, four on the forecastle and two on the poop. The 60-gun ships had only eight on the quarterdeck and two on the forecastle. The sea-god supporters of the presumed royal arms on the tafferel are unusual and might signify a Commonwealth-built ship, which would exclude the 'Monmouth' or 'Rupert'. For further comparison the 'Fairfax' also appears in a painting of about 1680 by Isaac Sailmaker (BHC3334). This is an accurate drawing based on preliminary work in pencil rather than an offset, but with several unsightly corrections. The style suggests Dutch period (pre-1672-1673) but the paper suggests it is, in fact, an early work of the English period.
Willem van de Velde, the Elder

Original size: 632 mm x 502 mm

  • Image ref: PY5019
  • National Maritime Museum

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