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Print made by Pierre Charles Canot, ca. 1710–1777
after Thomas Milton, active 1739–1756
Geometrical plan of his Majesty's Dockyard near Portsmouth
Materials & Techniques:
Line engraving on medium, moderately textured, cream laid paper
Sheet: 18 3/4 x 25 1/4in. (47.6 x 64.1cm), Plate: 19 11/16 × 26 9/16 inches (50 × 67.5 cm), Image: 18 3/4 × 25 3/16 inches (47.6 × 64 cm)


Lettered within image, upper center: "A Geometrical Plan, & Weft Elevation | Of His Majesty's Dock Yard near | Portfmouth with Part of the Common & c."; center left: extensive inscriptions of references to the plan; center: extensive inscriptions; center right: extensive inscriptions of references to the plan; lower center: "Part of the Harbour"; below: "To the Right Honourable | John Montagu Earl of Sandwich | Viscount Hinchingbrook and Baron of St. Neots | This Plate is humbly Inscrib'd by His Lordship's | Moft Obliged and Obedient humble Servant Thos: Milton."; below, left: "Thos. Milton Surv. et delin. Publish'd according to Act of"; right: "Parliamt. April 29. 1754. P.C. Canot Sculpt."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
anchor | cartographic material | cherubs | coats of arms | dockyard | flags | longboats | marine art | masts | pulling boats | sailboats | ships | town | Union Jack | wharf
Associated Places:
England | Isle of Wight | United Kingdom | Ventnor
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IIIF Manifest:

One of a series of views of the six Royal Dockyards, which were by the mid-eighteenth century the world's largest industrial complex and the state's biggest investment. These engravings present the dockyards as orderly, efficient, and rational; each makes reference to the specific functions of the dockyard represented, which depended in part on location. When France replaced Holland as Britain's major rival in the late seventeenth century, Plymouth and Portsmouth became the more strategically significant yards, serving as naval bases and fleet rendezvous for campaigns in the Atlantic and the Channel respectively. Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth, where the fleets moored during the winter or while on reserve, became employed more in repairs than shipbuilding.The cartouche on the left side of this print describes the content of the vignettes bordering the primary image. It is inscribed as follows: “References to Eight of the Twelve Capital Ships taken from the French the 3rd of May and 17th of October 1747 as Drawn in the Border.” Thus, rather than illustrating scenes in a ship’s “biography” (as is typical for other prints in this series), the ships shown in the vignettes bordering this print serve as a record of the activities of the dockyard at a particular moment.

Gallery label for Spreading Canvas - Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting (Yale Center for British Art, 2016-09-09 - 2016-12-04)

Spreading Canvas - Eighteenth - Century British Marine Painting (Yale Center for British Art, 2016-09-09 - 2016-12-04) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Eleanor Hughes, Spreading Canvas : Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2016, pp. 207, 209-12, cat. 71, no. 71, ND 1373.G74 S67 2016 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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