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The ‘Charles Galley’ before a light breeze

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleProvenance: Forbes, John
VesselsCharles Galley (1676)

Object details:

Object ID BHC3254
Description (Updated, August 2015) A panel painting of the ‘Charles Galley’, in a light breeze towing an admiral’s barge with several men in it. In the left background a two-decker starboard bow is under sail. There are two other ships on the left horizon. The ‘Charles Galley’ was one of the two galley frigates built in 1676 for service in the Mediterranean against the 'Barbary pirates' ( or, more accurately, North African muslim corsairs). She was armed with 32 guns and was classed as a fourth-rate ship until 1691. She can be identified from a detailed drawing of her in the NMM collection (PAI7276) and this painting is signed and dated ‘W. V. Velde 1677’. It is one of three on panel which are survivors from a set painted by the van de Veldes for the cabin of the royal yacht 'Charlotte', built that year at Portsmouth for Charles II. The others are of the yacht 'Portsmouth' (dated 1675, BHC3556), and the 54-gun 'Woolwich' (BHC3732). For further information see Richard Endsor's article on, 'The van de Velde paintings for the Royal Yacht "Charlotte", 1677', in the 'Mariner's Mirror', vol 94, no. 3, August 2008, pp.264-75. All were given to Greenwich Hospital by the Hon John Forbes, Admiral of the Fleet, in 1791. Forbes (1714-96) was a highly respected naval officer who had considerable historical interests: he passed on much information about the Hanoverian navy to Captain William Locker, Lieutenant Governor of Greenwich Hospital in the 1790s. He presumably obtained the pictures after the 'Charlotte' was broken up and gave them to the Hospital so that they would be preserved in interested naval hands.
Date made 1677

Artist/Maker Velde, Willem van de
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Materials oil on panel
Measurements Frame: 880 mm x 1115 mm x 80 mm;Painting: 711 mm x 952 mm
  • The ‘Charles Galley’ before a light breeze (BHC3254)
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