Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich

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Shipping in an Estuary

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID BHC0975
Description Two English two-deckers lie at anchor on the left in the river with steep hills rising up on either side. The setting is probably an idealized interpretation of an English estuary and the topography may indicate that it is intended to represent the Avon at Bristol. A third ship is approaching the anchorage in the evening sun from the right, and firing a salute as she does so. This ship, apparently that of a vice-admiral, flies the blue ensign of the rear squadron of the fleet, 1660-1707, and the other two ships fly the red ensign. The small admiral's barge to the left flies his blue flag and is moving towards the ships. This idealized, romanticized image exudes a golden glow with the sun setting behind the hills. There is a church on the shore in the left background and the picture is framed in the left foreground by the profile of a large house with a terrace. In the centre, silhouetted on a promontory, stands the ruin of a castle. The hills rising from either side of the gorge serve to frame the real purpose of the painting, the portrayal of the ships. The inclusion of land is unusual in van Beecq's work. The artist worked in England between approximately 1670 and 1720 and this is the last signed and dated picture by him. The signature, 'Jan Karel Donatus van Beecq 1701', is incorporated in the top course of stonework under the terrace balustrade.
Date made circa 1701

Artist/Maker Beecq, Jan Karel Donatus van
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 927 x 1162 mm; Frame: 1106 mm x 1375 mm x 105 mm
  • Shipping in an Estuary (BHC0975)
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