English warships at anchor in a calm, drying sails
Oil painting, hitherto (to July 2014) entitled 'An English ship becalmed', attributed to Peter Monamy, but which is more accurately described as showing them at anchor in a calm drying sails. The three-decker flagship on the right flies the Union at the main, indicating the presence of the Commander-in-Chief (i.e. the Royal Navy's senior serving admiral). The other vessels are ‘private’ naval ships (under captains in terms of rank) except for what may be a large armed merchantman, possibly an Indiaman, in broadside view back left, flying a Union as an ensign, another smaller merchant ship to its left in starboard-bow view, and a small Dutch trading vessel (possibly a dogger) left centre. In the left foreground a ship's boat takes out an officer - perhaps the Commander-in-Chief - since also flying Union at the prow, and to its right is an inshore fishing boat in which two men are drawing in a net. The two warships at centre are firing salutes. The likely location of such an assembly is the Downs off Deal, though the location is not specific. While the picture is attributed to Monamy it bears no obvious signature and may be by a follower.
Object number: BHC1009
Date: early 18th century
Original dimensions: 772 mm x 1078 mm x 26 mm
- Image reference: BHC1009
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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