The Battle of the Texel, 11-21 August 1673

The Battle of Texel was the last battle of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, 1672-74, between the Dutch on one side and the English and French on the other. It represented the final attempt by the Allies to destroy the Dutch fleet and leave the coast free for an invasion of Holland from the sea. The initial superiority of numbers enjoyed by the allies was neutralised by the French whose fleet wished to take very little part in the fighting. Aware of the French reluctance, the Dutch admiral De Ruyter concentrated on the English squadrons, but after a day of fierce action no major unit was taken or destroyed on either side.

The painting shows the ‘Prince’ defending herself against the repeated attacks of Cornelis Tromp. The ‘Prince’ is shown well in the foreground a little to the right, with only her foremast standing. She is firing her guns into Tromp’s ship the 'Comeestar' with Tromp’s striped double prince flag at the main. Ahead of her on the extreme left is a Dutch fireship being fired on by an English ship close by. On smoke close on the ‘Prince’s starboard is a ship of Tromp’s squadron with her topmast falling. On the extreme right is an English ship approaching which is probably the ‘St Andrew’ Sir John Kempthorne’s ship as admiral of the blue, flying a blue flag. Further away the ‘Royal Sovereign’ approaches flying Prince Rupert’s Union flag at the main and a red flag as a signal for close-action at the fore. In the left foreground there is the topmast from a ship of the blue squadron floating in the water with men clinging to it. The painting is signed ‘WVV’.

Object Details

ID: BHC0318
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Display - QH
Creator: Velde, Willem van de, the Younger
Events: Third Anglo-Dutch War: Battle of Texel, 1673
Date made: Late 17th century - Early 18th century
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Painting: 813 mm x 1448 mm; Frame: 1080 mm x 1715 mm x 115 mm Weight: 42.6 kg

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