Several years ago I went to an exhibition at the Wolsey Art Gallery of
pictures from the Ipswich Borough collection which had a nautical theme. One
old painting caught my eye. It was entitled Late seventeenth century Dutch
harbour scene and was painted by Lorenzo Castro. It had some very
interesting features. I thought about the painting for a couple of days and
then went back to have another look. Unfortunately, the exhibition had
finished. I had spotted a sumptuously-dressed figure on the deck of one of
the ships and I needed another look to identify the ships.
I asked if it was possible to see the painting again, but was told 'no'.
The years passed and I asked several times to see the painting, but the
answer was always 'no'. Then the catalogue of Suffolk museum paintings was
produced. The picture was now entitled Warships at sea but the thumbnail
image was too small to see any detail.
Then recently I discovered the BBC website
It has images of all the major
paintings in the museums of Britain. Not as good as looking at the painting
itself, but not bad. I did some research and I am now 99% certain that the
painting is a depiction of Charles II leaving Holland on the Naseby (HMS
Royal Charles), flagship of the Commonwealth fleet, to return to England in
the year 1660.
I think that this makes it a far more interesting picture. Louis Musgrove
[Picture can be seen