1725? --- kirkall's green mezzotint, reversed

The Britannia and/or Royal Sovereign
under way

stern detail from kirkall's mezzotint
what ship is this intended to represent? see baston's sovereign.

post 1707             flag details from kirkall's mezzotint             pre 1707

union flag canton in ensign in kirkall's mezzotint

The Britannia: a picture destroyed in WWII
preliminary drawings by van de Velde Jnr for this painting are still extant

The detail, left, from the above photograph shows that the ensign sports a pre-1707 canton, and there are significant differences in the stern carvings.

Kirkall's mezzotint was made in the 1720s, but the point at issue is: whose painting did he have before his eyes? There is every indication that it was not an original William van de Velde Jnr, but either a copy by son Cornelius, or possibly a painting by Monamy. It begins to look very much as if Cornelius, Monamy and Kirkall worked together to produce the 16 prints.

The Britannia: at Greenwich

This painting, now at Greenwich, with canton detail left, was judged by M.S.Robinson to be "probably a copy or studio version" of the previous painting which was destroyed in the war.

The most obvious differences are in the treatment of the clouds and sky, but perhaps it also has a slightly rougher feel to it, although the match is very close. At a guess, this is Cornelius, "who made good copies from his father's works", according to Horace Walpole. Robinson had assumed it was by Monamy. See next page.


flag details from kirkall's green mezzotint

kirkall: battles             kirkall: storms
kirkall: calms & breezes             kirkall: capital ships
kirkall's shipping prints: conclusions
the Britannia and/or Royal Sovereign
The Royal William or is it the Royal Anne?
assorted sterns

prints, prints, prints
more on prints
mezzotints       line prints
monamy website index


© Charles Harrison Wallace 2002
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