English Ships in a Storm

Three Royal Naval warships are depicted in a storm. The one in the foreground is largely obscured by the waves breaking over her deck, but is probably a 20-gun vessel. She flies a Union jack on a staff at her sprit top, a large red commissioning pennant at the main and red pennants on the fore- and mizzen masts, indicating that she is a member of the red squadron. Her figurehead is carved in the form of a lion with a red crown. The ship on the far left also flies the red ensign. Both ships in the foreground have been depicted running before the gale under very reduced canvas of fore-topsail and mizzen driver, while the ship in the distance on the left has the wind abeam under fore- and main courses. Both the foreground ships have sailors depicted in the rigging. The artist has included a spar, barrel and chest floating on the water in the foreground on the right, and has signed and dated the painting on the spar. Despite the severity of the waves, the image is imbued with a golden glow on the left, which is reflected on the far right. As a contrast the sky on the right becomes increasingly dark.

Van der Hagen is thought to have joined the studio of William van de Velde the Younger as a regular studio assistant, where he absorbed the typical Van de Velde technique and palette. In 1699 his daughter Bernaarda, married van de Velde's painter son, Cornelis, at Knightsbridge, London.

Object Details

ID: BHC0993
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Hagen, Johan van der
Date made: 1714
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Fund
Measurements: Painting: 945 mm x 1270 mm; Frame: 1193 mm x 1436 mm x 75 mm

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