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The Council of War on Board 'De Zeven Provincien'
1666
Willem van de Velde The Elder

The Council of War on Board 'De Zeven Provincien' 1666 Willem van de Velde The Elder

The most famous admiral in Dutch history, Michiel de Ruyter, enjoyed an international reputation and received numerous honors from other countries. De Ruyter was born in Flushing in 1607, and first went to sea when he was only eleven years old. His navigating skills brought him rapid advancement. De Ruyter was employed by the Admiralty, in Zeeland in 1652 and in Amsterdam a year later. As vice-admiral of the fleet he took part in the numerous sea battles the Dutch fought against England. In 1665 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Dutch fleet. He won a number of victories, but the pinnacle of his career was undoubtedly the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-1674), in which his superior tactics enabled him to keep a large Anglo-French fleet away from the Dutch coast. De Ruyter was killed at Syracuse in 1676, and was buried in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. This pen drawing by Willem van de Velde depicts the council of war on the eve of the
four-day naval battle during the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667). The battle, which took place in June, 1666, was won by the Dutch fleet under De Ruyter's command. The result, however, was disappointing: the English fleet was not destroyed, and losses on the Dutch side were almost as great.

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