Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich

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An English Fleet Coming to Anchor

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich
ExhibitionsArt for the Nation, Macpherson Collection
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: UK: Navy

Object details:

Object ID BHC1005
Description (Updated, August 2019) The subject has traditionally been described as Admiral Sir George Byng's 'Royal Anne' arriving with the Queen of Portugal at Spithead in 1708, with Samuel Baker's 'Revenge' flying his flag as Rear-Admiral of the Blue at the mizzen on her starboard bow: Baker had escorted the yachts bringing the Queen from Holland. However, the presence of the Hanoverian ‘GR’ on the stern of the boat between the principal ship and the yacht at centre right fairly clearly indicates a date after 1714. Stylistically it is a mature work by Monamy, and is more likely to date from the late 1720s and to depict an event of that period. The three-decker with the commander-in-chief on board (even if not Byng) is positioned prominently in port-quarter view in the centre of the painting. His Union flag flies at the main together with a striped ensign at the stern that is the signal for the fleet to anchor. Also present are a vice-admiral of the red (red at the fore), together with a great many other ships of the fleet flying the colours of their respective squadrons. The painting (which is signed) is arguably of the clearest contemporary example showing the use of squadronal colours for the identification and distinction of seniority among flag officers at sea. Monamy, a self-taught artist, was influenced by Willem van de Velde the Younger and may have worked in his studio.
Date made Late 1720s

Artist/Maker Monamy, Peter
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Macpherson Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 875 mm x 1295 mm; Frame: 1125 x 1540 x 100 mm
  • An English Fleet Coming to Anchor (BHC1005)
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