portrait traditionally identified as admiral robert blake c1650 circle of robert walker

Portrait, traditionally identified as Admiral Robert Blake c.1650: Circle of Robert Walker.


Price

SOLD

Item Ref

8814

Description

Oil on canvas in 18th century gilt frame.
Originally an oval, this portrait has been mounted onto a rectangular canvas, possibly in the 18th century as that is the date of the frame. The inscriptions dates from the same period.
Roughly translated the Latin inscriptions mean " Died in 1657,in his 59th year" and "Blake the victor of the seas. First Cromwellian admiral of the ocean."
ROBERT BLAKE (1598-1657)was one of the most important military commanders of the Commonwealth of England and one of the most famous English admirals of the 17th century, whose successes have "never been excelled, not even by Nelson" according to one biographer. Blake is recognised as the chief founder of England's naval supremacy, a dominance subsequently inherited by the British Royal Navy into the early 20th century. Despite this, due to deliberate attempts to expunge the Parliamentarians from history following the Restoration, Blake's achievements tend not to receive the full recognition that they deserve.
In a letter written on 17 April 1797, to Admiral Sir John Jervis, Admiral Lord Nelson wrote "I do not reckon myself equal to Blake". He ranked Robert Blake as one of the greatest Naval Generals ever known, even when compared with his own reputation.
Blake died of old wounds on board his flagship within sight of Plymouth.
After lying in state in the Queen's House, Greenwich, he was given a full state funeral and was buried in Westminster Abbey in the presence of Oliver Cromwell and the members of the Council of State (although his internal organs had earlier been buried at St Andrew's Church, Plymouth).
ROBERT WALKER (15991658) was an English portrait painter, notable for his portraits of the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell and other distinguished Parliamentarians of the period. He was influenced by Van Dyck, and many of his paintings can now be found at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
SIZE:36 x 31 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE:Private Collection.
VERSO: trade label of Frost and Reid of London and Bristol, restorers, with the handwritten number 4226 and the date 10.11.47.
Old storage label for Cox and Co. of Burnham on Sea.
Internal Ref: 8814



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