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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, at Woolwich
Materials & Techniques:
Line engraving on medium, moderately textured, cream laid paper
Sheet: 22 1/8 × 28 9/16 inches (56.2 × 72.5 cm), Plate: 19 5/8 × 26 5/8 inches (49.8 × 67.6 cm), Image: 18 3/4 × 25 11/16 inches (47.7 × 65.2 cm)


Lettered within image, upper center: "A Geometrical Plan. and North Elevation. | Of His Majesty's Dock Yard at | Woolwich with Part of the Town, & c."; center left: extensive lettering of reference to the plan; center:"Church | Yard | Dock Yard | Low Water Mark | Part of the River Thames"; center right: extensive lettering of references to the plan; lower center: "To The | Nobility Genrtry & c. Subfcribers hereto | This Plate is humbly Dedicated by their Obed,, | and Obliged humble Sevt,,- Thos: Milton."; below, lower left: "Thos,, Milton Surv: et delin: According to Act of Parliament,,"; lower right: "June the 18th. 1753. 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:
boatbuilding | cartographic material | coat of arms | crown | dockyard | flags | lion | longboats | marine art | pulling boats | rigging | sailboats | town | unicorn | Union Jack | war
Associated Places:
England | Greater London | Greenwich | Thames | United Kingdom | Woolwich
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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. Deptford and Woolwich dockyards, close to London on the Thames, were too far from the coast to be useful as naval bases and were used for shipbuilding and storing masts and timber. In the vignettes surrounding the central image in this print, the ship is seen first under construction, then launched, getting its masts in, preparing to sail, under sail, engaging the enemy, taking a prize in tow, undergoing a storm, and wrecked. They suggest a ship’s “biography,” a trope often used as an allegory of human life. The relationship of the vignettes to the central plan and elevation in these prints is implicit: they suggest the trajectory of the ship once it has left the dockyard and the hazards it will face that will require it to return for repairs.

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. 70, no. 70, ND 1373.G74 S67 2016 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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