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Admiral Philip Affleck (1726-1799)

Artist

English School c.1795

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Admiral Philip Affleck (1726-1799)

Artist

English School c.1795

Guide Price:

SOLD

Oil on canvas; 44 by 35 in; 112 x 89 cm; held in a period style frame

Provenance: Chichester Antiques, 1949; Private Collection, England

Literature: John Ingamells ‘Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790’, NPG, 2004, p.9

This striking full-length portrait of Affleck depicts him as a full Admiral, a rank he attained in June 1795. He is depicted seated at a table displaying typical nautical paraphernalia including a globe and dividers whilst his hand rests on some charts. In the background there is a ship depicted off the Cape of Good Hope, a reference perhaps to Affleck’s earlier career in The East India Company. The composition is very similar to a smaller portrait of Affleck as a Captain, painted by Edward Penny around 1770 (National Maritime Museum, London).

Affleck spent his early sea training in the service of the Honourable East India Company before transferring to the Royal Navy becoming a lieutenant, rather late, in 1755. Admiral Boscawen was impressed by his talents and made him a commander during the taking of Louisbourg in 1758 and a year later a captain after the Battle of Lagos. In the War of American Independence, he commanded the ‘Triumph’, and fought at Rodney’s two actions with de Guichen in 1780. In 1787 he was appointed Rear-Admiral of the Blue Squadron and later went as Commander-in-Chief to the West Indies, 1790-93. On his return he became a Lord of the Admiralty and further promotions followed so that by his death, in Bath in December 1799, he had risen to Admiral of the White. He was the younger brother of Edmund Affleck, also an admiral (1725-88), both being from a family of eighteen children.