Spanish Men-of-War engaging barbary corsairs
A Spanish ship is engaging several of the corsair galleys which posed a great threat to merchant and other shipping. These 'Barbary pirates' operated from the coast of northern Africa and naval expeditions against them were carried out by various European nations from the 17th century onwards. The large ship in the background is flying a Spanish flag and the red flag flying from the stern probably indicates that she is preparing to attack. She has fired her guns and is flanked by galleys on either side. The one nearer the foreground has a crescent moon in the pennant on her mast. Another galley in the foreground has probably been hit and is sinking. Her men are shown climbing the rigging in a desperate attempt to reach safety, and several of the crew have been trampled underfoot. The figures in the foreground have been closely observed, most of the men being sparsely clad and some wearing turbans. Small boats are shown going to their rescue.
Cornelis Hendriksz Vroom
- Image reference: BHC0799
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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