Portrait of the 'Zeven Provincien'

This is a classic van de Velde 'Ship Portrait' of the ‘Zeven Provincien’, a celebrated 80-gun flagship of the Dutch United Provinces, notably used by Admiral Michael de Ruyter. The ship had a reputation for being a particularly good sailor, and was built in 1665 and broken up in 1694.

This is a view from the starboard quarter with lower masting indicated but no rigging. The tafferel decoration comprises the lion of the United Provinces on a crowned shield, surrounded by the arms of the seven provinces and the whole supported by two lions. On the upper counter is a shield bearing a lion rampant on crossed anchors, for the Admiralty of the Maas, and a ribbon on the lower counter (for related views see also PAH9355 and PAF6501). On the broadside, the 'Zeven Provincien' mounted around fourteen guns on the gun deck, thirteen on the upper deck, three on the forecastle, eight on the quarterdeck and two on the poop.

The drawing is inscribed in Dutch in brown ink to the lower left, ‘d seffen provensie gevoert bij different admirals’ (the ‘Seven Provinces’ commanded by various admirals). It is rubbed on the back, suggesting an offset has been taken. There is a tracing from it, more clearly worked up, in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and the Duke of Northumberland’s collection includes drawings of the ship from different views.

Object Details

ID: PAH5017
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Velde, Willem van de, the Younger
Vessels: Zeven Provincien (1665)
Date made: 1670?
Exhibition: Unseen: The Lives of Looking by Dryden Goodwin
People: Velde, Willem van de, the Younger
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Primary support: 480 mm x 572 mm; Mount: 641 mm x 771 mm

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