A Marine Battle between the British and Dutch Navy

J Wilkins RESERVED
Attributed to (Fl.1795-1800) British
Title A Marine Battle between the British and Dutch Navy
Category 18th Century
Medium & Size Oil on canvas:25 x 39 inches .Frame :30 x44 in
Price Band £5,000 - £10,000
Location Please Refer
Biography

Little is known of his early artistic career but he started to exhibit paintings at the London Royal Academy in 1795.

His style is reminiscent of William Anderson for his sea pieces.

His work is often confused with the earlier artist Robert Wilkins, who also painted marine scenes.He lived in 18th Century artistic London in the Fitzrovia district.

His works are rare and when they are signed it is usually without an initial which would lead to many having become anonymous.

From the names on the vessels on the left, this picture depicts a battle scene off Saldanha Bay in the Western cape of South Africa in August 17th, 1796.

 

The Dutch ship Castor (left) was captured by  HMS Crescent (left centre), captained by Edward Buller .The other two ships are the Dutch Thulen (to the right)also captured and another British ship to the right.

The accounts vary about what happened. Some say the Dutch surrendered in the Bay without a fight ,but the contemporary account in the Naval Times reported that there was a sharp action when HMS Crescent was sent out to find the Dutch  Fleet, which they did in Saldanha Bay . When the British fleet caught up, they blockaded the Bay and the Dutch surrendered. The whole Dutch fleet was captured and then put into RN service and the Castor became HMS Saldanha to commemorate the victory.

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