Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich

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Admiral Thomas Mathews, 1676-1751

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Mathews, Thomas
Provenance: Lovell Todd, Lovell

Object details:

Object ID BHC2855
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.
Date made 1743

Artist/Maker Arnulphy, Claude
Place made France
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
  • Admiral Thomas Mathews, 1676-1751 (BHC2855)
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