Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich, Oil paintings

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The 'Resolution' In a Gale

BHC3582
Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich, Oil paintings
Gallery locationNot on display
VesselsResolution 1667

Object details:

Object ID BHC3582
Description In the foreground is the 'Resolution', in port-quarter view, close-hauled on the port tack. Her topsails are neatly furled, she has a Union flag at the main and flies a red ensign. 'Resolution' was one of the first of the 70-gun two-deckers, built at Harwich in 1667 and rebuilt in 1698. She was flagship of Sir Thomas Allin in 1668-70, the Union at the main signifying his role at that time as 'Admiral of a Fleet to the Streights' (of Gibraltar), or, in more familiar terms, commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean. His fleet consisted of three third-rates, eleven fourth-rates and four fifth-rates, with three fire-ships, two ketches and a storeship. As Vice-Admiral he had Sir Edward Spragge in the 'Revenge' and, as Rear-Admiral, Sir John Harman in the 'St David' - who both operated separately on occasions in their continuing war to protect English merchant shipping against Barbary pirates. The picture is therefore presumably a commission from Allin and was done from several drawings the artist made of the subject. It may be based on Allin's reminiscence of a storm on 14 December 1669, of which he gives a brief account in his journal (also in the National Maritime Museum but edited by R.C. Anderson for the Navy Records Society; 2 vols., 1939-40). Close ahead of the 'Resolution' is another two-decker with a common pendant at the masthead but no ensign or jack. The artist was younger son of Willem van de Velde the Elder. Born in Leiden, he studied under Simon de Vlieger in Weesp and in 1652 moved back to Amsterdam. He worked in his father's studio and developed the skill of carefully drawing ships in tranquil settings. He changed his subject matter, however, when he came with his father to England in 1672-73, by a greater concentration on royal yachts, men-of-war and storm scenes. From this time painting sea battles for Charles II and his brother (and Lord High Admiral) James, Duke of York, and other patrons, became a priority. Unlike his father's works, however, they were not usually eyewitness accounts. After his father's death in 1693 his continuing role as an official marine painter obliged him to be more frequently present at significant maritime events. The painting is signed 'W.V.Velde J'.
Date made circa 1678

Artist/Maker Velde, Willem van de
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 1194 mm x 1016 mm; Frame: 1565 x 1381 x 155 mm
Parts
  • The 'Resolution' In a Gale (BHC3582)
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