A Dutch merchantman attacked by an English Privateer, off La Rochelle
Set off the French Atlantic port of La Rochelle, this is an allegorical evocation of the perils of seafaring in the early 17th century but also seems to record a particular incident. In the centre a Dutch merchant ship is shown in starboard-broadside view. She flies the Dutch flag at the stern and mizzen mast and her mainmast bears a pennant and a flag with a deer rampant. From the foremast she flies a flag with the arms of the Dutch royal house of Orange in the second and third quarterings. She is shown being attacked by an English privateer, approaching from the right in broad port-bow view and firing her guns to starboard. The English ship flies a red-striped jack on the bowsprit, a similar flag at the foremast, a St George's cross defaced by a black spot in each quadrant at the main and a green-striped ensign. The Dutch ship is returning the privateer's fire and figures are shown occupied with the rigging to enable her to reach the safety of the harbour.
- Image reference: BHC0723
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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