The Battle of Solebay, 28 May-7 June 1672
The drawing shows the battle at noon with a light East-South-East breeze from the right of the drawing. In the left foreground is a stern view of the 'Komeetster' with the'Ridderschap' (Jan van nes) on her lee bow, bringing to on the starboard tack; in the smoke beyond appears the topmast of the 'Royal Prince' (prins de stengâ”œÂ½Ã”Ã»Ãª_). In the centre middle distance, the 'Olifabt' (visdr sweers) standing southwards; to the right, the'Gouda' (den haen) and a ship pf De Ruyter's squadron on her lee bow have hauled to the wind on the starboard tack. Further away is the 'Josa' sinking (sinckende Josuwa); beyond her, the 'Maad van Dordrecht' (vis de Liefde) standing southwards. The 'Pacificatie' (visdr Schram) on the extreme right is still running on to the south-west. In the right middle background, the 'Dolfijn' (van gent) near the burning 'Royal James', the smoke from which almost fills the sky (rouck van zandwits). Right in the foreground is a bow view of van de Velde's galjoot flying the flag of the States General, a lion rampant holding sword and arrows.
This is an unsigned pencil and wash drawing by the Elder. It has the appearance of having been started during the battle though all the detailed graphite work on the ships was added later.
Van de Velde was present in his galjoot at the battle and the drawings in the British Museum (B. 14-17; C.M. 28-31) may have been made at the time. Most of the surviving drawings, however, were made the following year when he and the Younger had moved to England, and he was making drawings for the Solebay tapestries at Hampton Court.
Willem van de Velde, the Elder
Original size: 357 mm x 755 mm
- Image reference: PT2439
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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