Free, Registration Required

Essential Information

Type Talks and tours
Date and Times Tuesday 5 December 2023 | 1pm-2pm
Prices Free

The Solebay Tapestry: New Insights  

In 1673 Charles II and his brother, the future James II, commissioned Willem van de Velde the Elder and his son, Willem the Younger, to design a series of tapestries to celebrate their recent successes against the Dutch Navy.

The resulting series depicts the Battle of Solebay and are the only tapestries woven in Britain to represent the maritime world, as well as being the only Van de Velde-designed tapestries.

This talk presents new research on the tapestries, including their commission during the short-lived heyday of English tapestry weaving, their life as artworks in the Royal Collection, and their implication in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.  

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A close up of the historic Solebay tapestry by Willem Van de Velde, showing part of a naval fleet with smoke billowing in from the left hand side of the picture

About the speaker

Maya Wassell Smith is Assistant Curator of Art at Royal Museums Greenwich and a collaborative doctoral candidate at Cardiff University, researching the craft practice of sailors in the long nineteenth century. 

She has engaged with and researched objects within academia, during her BA and MA in History of Design and Material Culture at the University of Brighton, and in peer-reviewed publications. And also, through curatorial and collections management work in museums, including London Borough of Newham Collections, SS Great Britain and the Brunel Institute and Leeds Museums and Galleries.

Her broad research interests centre on decorative art and its connection to subjective, cultural and vocational histories, including emotional objects, materiality and gender.  

A pen portrait of ships at sail

Going Dutch at Lunch

A series of free online lunchtime Zoom webinars to accompany The Van de Veldes: Greenwich, Art and the Sea exhibition at the Queen's House, Greenwich