A three-quarter-length portrait, almost full-face, in a blue coat with mariner's cuffs and a red waistcoat, both frogged with gold. He wears a short, white full-bottomed wig and holds a telescope in his right hand, his left hand resting on a cannon. The portrait was painted when the sitter was Vice-Admiral of the Red and Commander-in-Chief of the English Mediterranean fleet, 1742-1744. The background shows the fleet at anchor in HyÃ”Ã²Ã¡â”¬â•�res Bay, Toulon, with Lestock's flagship 'Neptune', 90 guns, and units of his squadron on the right; the stern of Mathews's flagship 'Namur', 90 guns, on the extreme left of the picture. This portrait was painted just before his unfortunate encounter with the Franco-Spanish fleet off Toulon in which only one enemy ship was taken. Mathews was hindered by the disobedience of his second-in-command, Lestock. At the subsequent court martial, Mathews was held to be chiefly responsible for the failure of the action, and was cashiered.
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