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A Model of the 'Royal George'
|Description||A portrait of a model of the 'Royal George', 100 guns, in starboard view. It has been depicted fixed to a table base featuring classical figure decoration and a label on the long side that reads 'Royal George, 1st Rate, 100 guns, 850 Men'. The painting was part of a commission of twelve perspective paintings, each of a different class of ship, ordered for King George III in 1773 by Lord Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, as part of his campaign to get the king more actively interested in naval matters. Each was accompanied by a memorandum describing improvements in design that had been introduced since 1745. The work of producing these perspectives from the original Navy Board plans of the ships was primarily by the draughtsmen Joseph Williams and J. Binmer, while Joseph Marshall painted all the pictures. Their task was completed in August 1775. Ten of Marshall's paintings are now in the Science Museum, London, the present example and one of the frigate 'Enterprise' (BHC3323) in the NMM collection. The 'Royal George' model is depicted in a panelled architectural space, presumably imaginary, with a painting set in the left-hand wall and a ship portrait in the curved room-corner panelling, centre, beyond the model, above which its sails can be seen. The picture of the 'Enterprise' model has a similarly imaginary but unpanelled setting. In all cases there is no evidence that the portraits were actually done from ship models rather than perspective drawings. The 'Royal George', launched in 1756, accidentally sank with massive loss of life while being heeled for repairs at Spithead, Portsmouth, in 1782. The painting is signed and dated 'J Marshall 1779'.|
|Credit||National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection|
|Materials||oil on panel|
|Measurements||Frame: 850 mm x 1275 mm x 60 mm;Painting: 737 mm x 1143 mm|
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