For almost 20 years, artist Willem van de Velde the Younger and his father worked in a studio at the Queen's House in Greenwich.

One of Van de Velde the Younger's most important paintings, A Royal Visit to the Fleet in the Thames Estuary, has now returned to the Queen's House following an ambitious conservation project.

Discover more about this important work, and find out how conservators confront centuries of deterioration with care, craft and precision.

Spot the difference

Use the slider to compare the work before and after conservation.

A dramatic oil painting showing a number of warships at sea. The panoramic painting is dramatic in scope, but the yellowing of the sails and the shadowiness of the ships themselves show that the work has deteriorated over time A dramatic oil painting showing a number of warships at sea. This image shows the painting after it has been conserved. Compared to how it looked previously, the sky is a brighter shade of blue, the sails are clear and parts of the painting have been cleaned

Follow the Fleet

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With grateful thanks

A Royal Visit to the Fleet is conserved with Art Fund support in 2019, along with the following: Arts Scholars, The Aurelius Charitable Trust, John S Cohen Foundation, The Golden Bottle Trust, Golsoncott Foundation, Girdlers’ Company, The Hartnett Conservation Trust, Charles Hayward Foundation, Historic Houses Foundation, Idlewild Trust, The Leche Trust, The Radcliffe Trust and a private individual donor.

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