A New Whip for the Dutch thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

A New Whip for the Dutch

Oil Painting
1883 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Oil painting group portrait entitled 'A New Whip for the Dutch' depicting a group of men in the early 1650s, including Samuel Pepys and the Earl of Sandwich, seated at a table surrounded by plans and books, around a large model of a warship.


Object details
Category
Object type
Materials and techniques
Oil on canvas
Brief description
Oil painting entitled 'A New Whip for the Dutch' by John Seymour Lucas. British School, 1883.
Physical description
Oil painting group portrait entitled 'A New Whip for the Dutch' depicting a group of men in the early 1650s, including Samuel Pepys and the Earl of Sandwich, seated at a table surrounded by plans and books, around a large model of a warship.
Dimensions
  • Estimate height: 27in
  • Estimate width: 38.75in
  • Frame height: 105cm
  • Frame width: 131cm
Dimensions taken from Summary catalogue of British Paintings, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973
Styles
Marks and inscriptions
'Seymour Lucas 1883' (Signed and dated by the artist)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Henry Louis Florence
Object history
Bequeathed by Henry L. Florence, 1916



Historical significance: John Seymour Lucas (1849-1923) was a London-based genre painter. He left school at 15, and spent three months in a sculptor's studio, then nearly a year under the tutelage of the wood carver Gerard Robinson. His cousin, John Templeton Lucas, taught him oil painting. Lucas initially attended St Martin's Lane Art School, and in 1871 was admitted as a probationer to the Royal Academy schools. While still a student he began to exhibit genre paintings. In his subsequent career he specialised in English historical subjects, especially of the 17th and 18th centuries.



In 1895 Lucas became an Examiner for the schools of art run by the Science and Art Department at South Kensington Museum (later the V&A), a post which he held until 1921. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1898.



The painting depicts discussions in the Admiralty in the early 1650s between John Evelyn (standing on the left, quill in hand), Samuel Pepys (leaning on the table to the right) and the Earl of Sandwich (taking snuff to the right). They are examining a model of a new warship exhibited by a naval architect standing behind Evelyn. Forty new warships were built in the early 1650s specifically to use against the Dutch navy, led by the brilliantly successful Admiral Van Tromp in the first Anglo-Dutch War, 1652-54.



The V&A's painting appears to be a version of a picture now in Leicester Art Gallery. When the primary version, entitled A Whip for Van Tromp: the Admiralty of 1652, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1883, the Art Journal commented: 'A scene at the Admiralty in 1652. "My Lords" and their advisers discussing the model of a ship, which shall whip the Dutch Admiral out of the Thames and the North Sea.' (p.220.) The Athenaeum described the painting as follows: 'The costume picture which Mr S. Lucas calls a '"Whip" for Van Tromp; the Admiralty, 1652', represents a committee studying the model of a ship, has a good deal of dramatic character of an obvious and rather trite kind, and the painting is dexterous rather than satisfactory. Still, Mr Lucas has abandoned more than one of the least pleasing of his mannerisms, and improved in painting.' (p.768.) The Magazine of Art merely commented: 'Mr Seymour Lucas […] is much the same as usual'. (p, 351.)



The actual table represented in both paintings is discussed in The Connoisseur, December 1920, p.202.



This painting was bequeathed to the V&A in 1916 by Henry L. Florence of Prince's Gate, South Kensington, London. The bequest also included paintings by Brangwyn, Clausen, Corot, Leighton and Fantin-Latour.
Subjects depicted
Collection
Accession number
P.66-1917

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

Record createdMarch 21, 2007
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest