Full-length portrait of Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Admiral of the Fleet, leaning to the right and facing slightly to the left, wearing three-quarter length armour and a full-bottomed wig. He is leaning on a cannon which is probably draped with a blue flag, and in his left hand he holds a combined telescope and baton. In the right background, his flagship is shown in action, blue at the main. In the War of the Spanish Succession, he brought home the silver captured by Sir George Rooke at Vigo in 1702. Returning home from an attack on Toulon in 1707, in his flagship 'Association', he was lost with 800 or 900 men when his ship was wrecked off the Isles of Scilly. The Swedish painter travelled to London in 1682 where he became acquainted with Godfrey Kneller. In 1685, he left for Europe and returned to London in 1689 where he remained. During Dahl's absence, Kneller consolidated his supremacy as the fashionable portrait painter, although the prolific Dahl was his closest competitor. Politically, Kneller supported the ascendant Whigs, while Dahl was a Tory. The death of Kneller in 1723 left Dahl the principal London portraitist. The painting has been signed by the artist and is dated 1702.
Where to see this painting?
National Maritime Museum
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