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Admiral Thomas Mathews, 1676-1751
|Description||A three-quarter-length portrait, almost full-face, in a blue coat with mariner's cuffs and a red waistcoat, both frogged with gold. He wears a short, white full-bottomed wig and holds a telescope in his right hand, his left hand resting on a cannon. The portrait was painted when the sitter was Vice-Admiral of the Red and Commander-in-Chief of the British Mediterranean fleet, 1742-44. The background shows the fleet at anchor in Hyères Bay, Toulon, with Lestock's flagship 'Neptune', 90 guns, and units of his squadron on the right; the stern of Mathews's flagship 'Namur', 90 guns, on the extreme left of the picture. This portrait was painted just before his unfortunate encounter with the Franco-Spanish fleet off Toulon in which only one enemy ship was taken. Mathews was hindered by the disobedience of his second-in-command, Lestock. At the subsequent court martial, Mathews was held to be chiefly responsible for the failure of the action, and was cashiered. The French-born artist worked exclusively as a portrait painter and spent most of his working life in Provence. This is one of a group of portraits he painted of English naval officers while Mathews' fleet was blockading Toulon. It was engraved by John Faber in 1744, see PAF3384.|
|Credit||National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection|
|Materials||oil on canvas|
|Measurements||Painting: 1270 mm x 1015 mm; Frame: 1468 mm x 1220 mm x 90 mm|
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