Folded size 160mm x 160mm. With envelope in polybag. Barcode on back.
We have created a dozen greetings cards of scenes extracted from the huge Battle of Solent picture, all with a life and charm of their own.
ORIGINAL TITLE: The Encampment of the English Forces Near Portsmouth, Together With a View of the English and French Fleets at the Commencement of the Action Between Them on the XIXth of July MDXLV (19th of July, 1545).
THE MARY ROSE AS KING HENRY VIII KNEW HER ...
This historic picture originally painted in 1545 or just after shows the last man standing on the crow's nest of the great Tudor warship Mary Rose as she sinks below the waves, her English flag still flying, just above Southsea Castle in the centre of the picture.
On the morning of July 19, 1545, the biggest invasion fleet ever to reach British shores sailed around the eastern side of the Isle of Wight and into the Solent with the intention of capturing the town and naval base of Portsmouth. The mighty French fleet, augmented by gun galleys on loan from the Vatican, had been sent to teach King Henry VIII's Protestant England a lesson and quash Henry's claim to the throne of France once and for all. The invasion fleet was twice as big as the much more famous Spanish Armada defeated by Francis Drake in later Elizabethan times. As the English fleet sailed out to engage the French off Southsea Castle, led by flagships the Great Harry and the Mary Rose, the Battle of the Solent had begun.
Today, the Battle of the Solent is largely forgotten as an inconclusive stand-off except for two things: the famous sinking of the Mary Rose in a freak accident as she manoeuvred ahead of her fleet to fire on the French. This fabulous panorama ("the Cowdray Picture") was painted to faithfully record the sea battle, and the English army defending Southsea and the approaches to Portsmouth.
The original picture (artist unknown) of c.1545 is a brilliant piece of art, painted from an aerial viewpoint the artist could not actually have seen. The characters are all full of life and style, everybody important who attended the event is said to be in the picture, and it is geographically accurate (today’s satellite maps match the coasts painted here). The picture was commissioned by the Master of the King’s Horse, Sir Antony Browne, seen on the white horse in the dead centre of the picture, right behind the King).
The picture hung at Browne's home, Cowdray in Sussex, where he hunted with the King. Cowdray became the seat of the Viscounts Montague but is now the ruin at Cowdray Park after a fire destroyed it - and the original picture - in 1793.
Luckily the Society of Antiquaries had preserved the picture in 1788 - it was hand-copied by S.H. Grimm in masterly fashion, and engraved by James Basire, so that prints could be published for the enlightenment of historians and military scholars. The print we sell is a modern reproduction of one of the 1788 prints, using hand-colouring beautifully applied to the old black and white print by an unknown artist some time over the ensuing centuries. Our print is made on canvas using archival inks, using seven-colour fine-art giclee printing with UV-resistant pigment inks.
We have also created a dozen greetings cards of scenes extracted from this huge picture, all with a life and charm of their own and all available online from www.artistsharbour.com