Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich

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Admiral Sir Edward Hawke, 1705-1781, 1st Baron Hawke

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Hawke, Edward
Provenance: Hawke, 3rd Baron
Artist: Cotes, Francis

Object details:

Object ID BHC2754
Description A three-quarter-length portrait showing the sitter slightly to the right. He wears flag-officer's undress uniform, 1767-83, of blue jacket and gold braid with the ribbon and star of the Order of Bath and a tie-wig. He holds his sword in his right hand and stands against a rocky background with, on the left, the fleet at anchor together with a barge flying the Union flag. Hawke is best known for his defeat of the French fleet in Quiberon Bay in November 1759 - an extremely hazardous action fought close in on a rocky coast, in the fading light of a November evening. This crowned an already distinguished active career in which he had been knighted in 1747, as a very junior rear-admiral, for his victory over the French at the Second Battle of Cape Finisterre. He was later First Lord of the Admiralty, 1766-71 and became Admiral of the Fleet in 1768, but was five years into retirement before George III (who disapproved of his political views) eventually made him 1st Baron Hawke. Cotes was a pastellist who turned to oil painting to enable him to execute larger-scale works. In 1765, he became a director of the Society of Artists, with whom he had exhibited since 1760, and became an important figure in the London art world. He was instrumental in setting up the Royal Academy in 1768.
Date made 1768-1770

Artist/Maker Cotes, Francis
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 1283 mm x 1030 mm; Frame: 1450 mm x 1215 mm x 125 mm
  • Admiral Sir Edward Hawke, 1705-1781, 1st Baron Hawke (BHC2754)
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