Loss of HMS 'Victory', 4 October 1744

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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Peter Monamy was one of the first English artists to continue the tradition of Willem van de Velde the Younger’s marine painting into the eighteenth century and his work is representative of the early British school of maritime art, which still shows an overwhelming influence of the Dutch style. Monamy was self-taught, but may have worked in van de Velde’s studio in Greenwich. This painting is a dramatic night scene in the van de Velde tradition. The actual ship, which in her day was recognized as ‘the finest ship in the world’, was wrecked and lost with all hands on the Caskets, near the island of Alderney in the English Channel, after becoming separated from the rest of the English fleet in a gale. In the painting, which is portrait format, the solitary vessel is going down with lanterns alight and firing two of her guns – their light eerily mirrored by the moonlight streaming down from behind the dark storm clouds in the sky.

National Maritime Museum



Loss of HMS 'Victory', 4 October 1744


18th C


oil on canvas


H 76 x W 63.5 cm

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