Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich, Oil paintings

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Flagmen of Lowestoft: Vice-Admiral Sir Joseph Jordan, 1603/04-85

Fine art

Object details:

Object ID BHC2812
Description A three-quarter-length portrait slightly to left in a black coat with cuff turned back at the elbow to show wide lawn sleeves, tied with black ribbon. His left hand is on his sword, which hangs on a gold embroidered baldric and his right rests on his baton. He wears his own hair and a small moustache with a little tuft under his lower lip. In the background is a fluted pillar with rocks and sea visible beyond on the left. He fought at the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665 for which he received a knighthood, was rear-admiral of the red squadron with the Duke of Albemarle in the Four Days Fight, 1666, and vice-admiral of the red at the victory on St James's Day, 25 July 1666. At Solebay in 1672 he led the fleet into action in the 'Royal Sovereign', 100 guns. The portrait is inscribed 'Sir Joseph Jordan' and is one of the 'flagmen' series commissioned by Charles II's brother James, Duke of York after the Battle of Lowestoft. This was the first major action of the Second Dutch War, in which James commanded the fleet. It was among those seen by Pepys in Lely's studio 18 April 1666 and described by him as being begun or finished. Lely, a Dutchman who arrived in England in 1641 after the death of Van Dyck, soon became his successor as leading portraitist of the day. He worked for Charles I, continued to flourish under the Commonwealth and Protectorate, and after the Restoration of 1660 was appointed Principal Painter to Charles II. The full 'flagmen' set consists of thirteen individual portraits, of which George IV presented eleven plus a copy of that of Admiral Sir John Lawson (BHC2833) to Greenwich Hospital in 1824. The originals of Lawson and of Prince Rupert were retained in the Royal Collection, although William IV presented an extended full-length copy of the latter (BHC2990) to the Hospital in 1835.
Date made 1666

Artist/Maker Lely, Peter
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Frame: 1443 mm x 1226 mm x 102 mm;Overall: 36.6 kg;Painting: 1270 mm x 1015 mm
  • Flagmen of Lowestoft: Vice-Admiral Sir Joseph Jordan, 1603/04-85 (BHC2812)
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