Cornelis Claesz. van Wieringen: The battle of Gibraltar (1621)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A painting by the Dutch artist Cornelis Claesz. van Wieringen (1577 - 1633). This spectacular painting shows the battle of Gibraltar which took place on 25 April 1607 during the Dutch war of independence (1568-1648). During the period 1606-1609 there were peace negotiations going on between the Netherlands and Spain - both parties were fighting each other for about 40 years now. In order to make the negotiations easier from Dutch side, a Dutch fleet of 30 ships were send to Spain to seek and destroy the Spanish fleet. When the Dutch fleet arrived, the admiral Jacob van Heemskerck learned that a Spanish fleet of about 20 ships was at Gibraltar. on 25 April 1607 the Dutch completely surprised the Spanish fleet which was anchored at the Bay of Gibraltar. The battle lasted for about 4 hours during which the entire Spanish fleet was destroyed and about 4000 Spanish sailors and soldiers killed - the Dutch refused the Spanish surrender. Losses for the Dutch were 100 men, including their admiral Jacob van Heemskerck, no Dutch ships were sunk. The painting shows one of the Spanish warships (the painting claims it is the Spanish flagship) which was hit by Dutch fire and exploded - taking a part of the other Spanish ships with it. The battle of Gibraltar was the first naval victory for the Dutch and moral boost. Painting from 1621.

Hendrik Cornelisz Vroom_Het ontploffen van het Spaanse admiraalschip tijdens de zeeslag bij Gibraltar (25 april 1607)