A ketch and two English ships in a breeze

A drawing with pen and wash of a ketch and two English ships in a breeze. This is likely to have been made immediately following the First Battle of Schooneveld, which was the first that van de Velde the Elder observed from the English side. The ketch is probably the one that he used during the battle.

In the left foreground is a port bow view of the ketch before the wind with only a clewed mainsail set. On the right is a two-decker under topsails before the wind, and close to starboard of her a three-decker, lee bow view, close-hauled on the port tack; the latter has a dark flag at the mizzen and a Union jack at the mizzen peak as a signal for ships to get into line-of-battle ahead.

The drawing has been rubbed on the back, an offset probably having been taken from it. The ketch has been strengthened with pen and brown ink by the artist's son, Willem the Younger, and the rakes of the topmasts and topgallantmasts of the ship on the right have been corrected. This was presumably done at the same time as the inscription on the back was added in 1700.

Object Details

ID: PAG6221
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Velde, Willem van de, the Elder
Date made: circa 1673
Exhibition: Unseen: The Lives of Looking by Dryden Goodwin
People: Velde, Willem van de, the Elder
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Primary support: 255 mm x 442 mm; Mount: 476 mm x 632 mm

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