In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, around one in five families in Britain had a direct connection to seafaring. Britain’s place in the world was supported by the Royal Navy, while her merchant seamen brought luxuries from every corner of the globe and exported her products. A rich painting tradition recording the glories of the Age of Sail can currently be enjoyed online and in our 147 New Bond Street gallery.
11 June 2021 - 9 July 2021
147 New Bond Street, W1S 2TS
A squadron of the Red at Spithead, waiting for a breeze
John Cleveley The Elder
King George III reviewing the Fleet at Spithead, off Portsmouth Harbour
The English privateer squadron known as the 'Royal Family' engaging enemy ships; A merchant snow, two of the King's ships-of-war, a lugger and a cutter in the Channel
King George I's first arrival in the Peregrine Galley in September 1714, with Tilbury Fort saluting
The Bristol privateer, Caesar, Captain Valentine Baker, engaging a 32-gun French frigate in the Bristol Channel on 27th June 1782
The tea clippers - the race between 'Taeping' and 'Ariel' in 1866 off Land's End
Men of war in a roadstead with a British three-decker firing a salute
Like his father-in-law Peter Monamy, Francis Swaine was influenced by the work of Willem van de Velde the Younger (1633-1707). This painting emulates one of Willem’s famous ‘calms’, even down to its square format, which suggests that it was intended to be an overdoor. The focus of the painting is a British three-decker man-of-war. She displays a magnificent carved and gilt stern typical of ship design of the mid-eighteenth century and wears a red ensign and a Union at the main, suggesting that this is the flagship of the Admiral of the Fleet.