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An English Merchant Ship in a Mediterranean Harbour in a Light Breeze with Many Other Vessels
1694
Willem Van de Velde the Younger

An English Merchant Ship in a Mediterranean Harbour in a Light Breeze with Many Other Vessels  1694 Willem Van de Velde the Younger

A scene of a busy Mediterranean harbor showing shipping at anchor. The profile of a town has been positioned horizontally in the distance, compositionally dividing the painting with sky occupying half of the image. The high tower shown on the extreme left may indicate a lighthouse. The principal buildings are visible on the right, where three round towers and a short domed tower beyond form a gate into a walled town.

To the left of the towers there is a row of small vessels which appear to be entering a small inner harbor. To the left of center several buildings are shown flying the St George's flag. In the middle distance on the left two ships are shown. To the right of them is an English merchant ship. At the main it is flying a St George's flag and a red pendant, and also displays a red ensign and a St George jack. Lying in the harbour to the right, in port-broadside view, is a small vessel of Mediterranean type. She flies a white ensign and a white flag at the main which could be either Spanish or Neapolitan. She is firing a salute which may relate to the foreshore activity.

Right of center in the foreground a small boat laden with people, including some English troops, is shown preparing to leave the shore. It prominently displays a St George's cross which is being held by a figure in the bow. Several figures wearing turbans are shown holding the oars. A man wearing military dress sits in the stern while another man in military dress is being carried out to the boat on the shoulders of a man in Eastern dress. On the shore on the left small boats are being laden with supplies. At the water's edge in the foreground there are people in Eastern dress and turbans looking to the right towards the harbor. The presence of English troops in the form of the trumpeter and the military flag in the bow of the boat indicate a port under English occupation, such as Tangier, which was under occupation from 1662 to 1683.

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