(This post is not at the NMM’s behest: We (the GMH staffers) just think this is an extremely good cause and so we’re helping spread the word. We claim no association with, just must affection for the National Maritime Museum)
The National Maritime Museum has launched a fundraising campaign for the funds to help preserve the tapestry The Burning of the Royal James at the Battle of Solebay, 28 May 1672.
What is the Solebay tapestry?
Willem Van de Velde the Elder and his son Van de Velde the Younger were the most famous maritime artists of the 17th century. They were proto photojournalists, who sailed into naval battles, sketching and recording the events as they happened. These sketches were later work up into paintings back on land.
The Solebay tapestry depicts the climax of the Battle of Solebay – a naval battle that occurred in May 1672. It is prized for its intricate details, from burning ships to churning waves.
Commissioned by King Charles II in the 17th century, it is part of the only surviving English naval tapestry series.
This dramatic tapestry is the largest work of its kind in our collection, and we are excited to finally be able to bring it back to the Queen’s House where it was first designed.
Why does the tapestry need conservation?
The artwork is in a fragile state. Due to its age, weight and high silk content the tapestry’s structure is incredibly weak. It is currently too delicate to go on public display.
With your help we will be able to conserve the tapestry so that it can be displayed in a unique exhibition exploring the Van de Veldes’ artistic work in Greenwich, and celebrating the birth of maritime art in Britain.
This is your chance to support this important piece of history. Help us #SaveSolebay!
You can donate to this fund at this link