A 64 Gun Man-of-War

1633 – 1721
Oil on canvas 37 ½ x 64 ¾ inches
Framed size 46 x 73 ½ inches

Isaac Sailmaker was born in Scheveningen. When he was very young he travelled to London and became a pupil of the Dutch painter George Geldorp. Sailmakers background is not very well recorded but he is acknowledged as being one of the true forerunners of the British School of marine artists, which blossomed into full array in the 19th Century.
He was employed to paint a picture for Oliver Cromwell, a prospect of the fleet before Mardyke when the town was taken in 1657. A portrait of Cromwell holding a baton with a sea battle in the background attributed to Sailmaker was in the Haworth Sale at Christies on 14 December 1923.
In 1708 he was commissioned by Colonel John Lovett MP to paint the second Eddystone Lighthouse, a wooden construction designed by John Rudyerd. Sailmaker made four versions of this painting of which three have survived.
Although Dutch by birth he is often thought to be the father of British Marine painting. He lived and worked in Britain from Childhood. His name is thought to be the anglicised version of ‘Zeilmaker’. He had a house and studio by the Thames in Kings Bench Walk.
One of the great merits of his paintings lie first and foremost in their documentary qualities.
He portrayed ships in two positions and recorded the actions of the English fleet adding to the historical subjects such traditional elements of imaginary seascapes as sea creatures.
His painting of the Eddystone Lighthouse (destroyed by fire on 1755) is a topographical record of a structure that no longer exists.

Sailmaker died in London on 28 June 1721 at the age of 88.

Works represented: Nine in the National Maritime Museum; Ferens Art Gallery; Government Art Collection London; Painter-Stainers Company London; Trinity House London; Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery.

Bibl: Dictionary of Sea Painters – E.H.H. Archibald; Dictionary of 16th & 17th British Painters by Ellis Waterhouse; 19th Century Marine Painting – Denys Brook-Hart

This is a wonderful record of the new design of British Warship which were produced from 1692 in the Naval Dockyards. These ships were more manoeuvrable and more stable than their predecessor and formed the backbone of the Royal Naval Fleet during the Early 18th Century.
This painting relates closely to the Sailmaker portrait of HMS Britannia (in two positions) that is in the National Maritime Museum Collection.
The figurehead of the lion was popular on Navy vessels of this time, but the highly elaborate carving around the stern would be unique to this ship and should help to identify it.
Height 37.50 inch (95.25 cm)
Width 64.75 inch (164.46 cm)
External Height 46.00 inch (116.84 cm)
External Width 73.50 inch (186.69 cm)
Stock Code
Cider House Galleries Ltd

Cider House Galleries Ltd
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