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An Arabic book…

Tales of Arabian nights, I am privileged to make a ‘sort of’ contribution… At the publisher’s request further minor  changes to my painting of a Portuguese Carrack. This type of vessel you may recall was the Portuguese deep sea ship.  carrack_20.03.14IMG_9874.JPG_d.JPG

The Portuguese developed and used the Carrack type of vessel when they began discover sea routes to S America, S Africa and the East.

My client is in Oman, a company who have already used one of my paintings on a previous book cover which became a best seller. Baglah_book_cover_d.jpg

Larger and more stable than the Caravel type the Carrack was the for runner of the Galleon which lead to the English Race galleon which lead to the first 100 gun ship “Sovereign of the Seas”, ancestor of Nelson’s beloved HMS Victory.

The painting changes included removing two of the crosses, their request and further highlighting the cannon barrels and softening the national ensign, my ideas.


I have chosen to show one of the oldest know Portuguese royal flag as the ensign at the gaff, thought to have been used from about 1385 to 1490.


For various reasons including it is better suited to an early design of Carrack, period about 1480 – 1500 which my vessel represents.


We see her reducing sail entering the Gironde (Bordeaux), also as a courtesy for a possible client in Qatar it does not show a cross.


Details on this Carrack you may enjoy include the anchor ready to let go, a herald with trumpet on the fore castle and some not all cannon run out.


This Carrack is not the largest type; she is after all leading a fleet into a difficult estuary to a friendly port.


Portugal is a rare case in the vexilological and heraldic story: since independence in 1143, it had only 14 different flags (counting as different flags also differences in the coat of arms), and merely 5 different patterns.