Royal Sovereign (Br, 1637)
This is a ship portrait viewed from the starboard quarter. On the tafferel there is a full-length figure of an angel with arms and wings outstretched and an oval window beneath each hand. There is also a full-length figure below the tafferel. There are four gunports in the stern on the gundeck level; four oval ports on the upper counter with a gunport on the quarter at the same level.
The general arrangement of stern windows and ports is the same as in Sir Peter Lely's 'Peter Pett and the Sovereign of the Seas' (BHC2949). The main differences are that the oval windows on the tafferel have taken the place of the figures of Neptune and Jupiter. The centre window in the lower row of stern-windows in the painting is occupied by a small royal coat of arms. The one large lantern is replaced by a large royal coat of arms and smaller lanterns on the quarters.
It is a faint offset of the stern, waterline and rail, these parts only being rubbed on the back. It is apparently not in reverse as there is no entering port on the starboard side; the royal arms are correct and the figure between the rows of windows (untouched by pencil) holds a spear in the right hand. The drawing was presumably executed at Chatham in around 1661.
Willem van de Velde, the Elder
Original size: 370 mm x 704 mm
- Image reference: PZ7257-001
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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