Portrait of the 'Henry' by Willem van de Velde the Elder

Portrait of the 'Henry'

Willem van de Velde the Elder

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Portrait of the 'Henry'

Portrait of the 'Henry', viewed from slightly before the port beam. The masts and spars are lightly sketched in pencil, but an ensign, flag at the fore, vanes at the main and mizzen and a jack are washed in; the jack shows the Irish saltire. This is an unsigned pencil and wash drawing by the Elder. The 'Henry', formerly the 'Dunbar', 82 guns, was renamed in 1660 and burnt in 1682. The renaming is mentioned in van de Velde's inscription near the jack, 'No 6 de [crossed out dumbbar] maer nu genaemt heijnrich/da duck de glohester/ henrij Doijel henrich' (The 'Dunbar', but now called 'Henry' after Henry Duke of Gloucester). There is another inscription in the lower left corner 'de heer skun visad van/de Graerff van zandwitz/montagug blaau vlaggs' (Ayscue, vice-admiral under Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, blue flags), and in the right bottom corner 'tot tiatum' (At Chatham). The 'Henry' was not in the Restoration squadron, but van de Velde came to England about August 1660 and he may have drawn the hull while she was fitting out in the Thames before sailing for the Downs, where she was lying in October 1661. She left there on 15 January 1662 with troops for Tangier and returned to England in May 1662 as part of the escort of Katherine of Braganza. She was at Chatham from September 1662 until October 1664. She left there with Sir George Ayscue's blue flag at the fore; but so far as is known van de Velde was back in Holland again by February 1662. Ayscue moved into the 'Royal Prince' as admiral of the white at the beginning of 1666. For the Irish saltire in the Union, compare the drawings of the 'London' (drawn 1660) in the 'Atlas van Stolk', Rotterdam and in the Ingram Collection (702); of the 'Royal Prince' (drawn at Chatham between 1660 and 1662 and the flags added 1665) in the Victoria and Albert Museum (4694); and of the 'Royal Charles (drawn 1660) in the Scheepvaart Museum, Amsterdam. It is shown also in the drawing of 1677 (Boymans Museum, Rotterdam, 169) where it is clearly a mistake.
Willem van de Velde, the Elder

Original size: 628 mm x 510 mm

  • Image reference: PT2516

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