Beach and van Ghent's action, 1670: Van Ghent pursuing six Algerine corsairs near Cape Spartel, 17-27 August 1670
In 1670, when second-in-command in the Mediterranean, Commodore Richard Beach co-operated with Willem Joseph van Ghent, the Dutch senior officer on that station, to drive six Algerine corsairs ashore near Cape Spartel, Morocco. This drawing shows the start of the incident, including only the Dutch ships coming up with the chase. In the right foreground is a lee quarter view of van Ghent's ship under topgallants, with the wind on the starboard quarter, firing her bow-chase guns. The mastheads are not shown but there is a plain flag at the mizzen peak for the order of battle. The two other Dutch ships are beyond her, dead before the wind. In the left middle distance are the Algerines, with their vice- and rear-admiral covering the retreat of their admiral and several other ships. There is a low coastline on the horizon. This is one of three related drawings of this action in the NMM, the other two (PAH3914 and PAI7274) being more highly finished. PAI7274 was the basis for at least two paintings by van de Velde the Younger, one now in the Royal Collection and the other now NMM BHC0298: the latter is now considered studio work or a copy. This is a drawn version of PAI7274, but omitting the English ships involved which led Robinson to suggest it is a later sketch for a painting intended for the Dutch market.
Willem van de Velde, the Elder
Original size: 326 mm x 582 mm
- Image reference: PY3915
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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