follower of Willem van der Velde the Younger, The Royal Yacht Anne

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
The Royal Yacht Anne
? c.1670
Stairs Leading To Second Floor And Landing
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 87 cm, Overall width: 155 cm
follower of Willem van der Velde the Younger (1633-1707)
Catalogue Number


The picture was evidently commissioned by Captain Christopher Gunman (1634–1685) commanding officer of the royal yacht, Anne, 16 February 1670 to 2 July 1672, and again 26 January 1677 to 24 September 1677. The incident depicted in the painting involved an exchange of fire between Gunman and a Swedish garrison at the Castle of Kronborg, Elsinore in September 1670. It was described by Gunman in his naval log-book, now at Doddington: ‘I toke no notice of them butt stired my course, butt gave them 3 gunes when they left firing to thanke them for theire sevility and to lett them know they had not killed us all’.1

It was formerly in the collection of the Gunman family and came to Doddington in the early nineteenth century on the marriage of Sarah Hussey Delaval to James Gunman. Oliver Millar, who inspected the picture at Doddington in 1952, noted, ‘Capt. Gunman off Copenhagen, fired on for refusing to strike his colours; of this same type, noted, but pretty coarse: signed lwl [?] on a piece of wood, … VV (perhaps as a fake Van de Velde signature)’.2

by Martin Postle


  1. Cole, 1897, p. 223

  2. Oliver Millar Notebook VIII, 191–3, Paul Mellon Centre Collection.


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    Joshua Reynolds, 1761–64