A Sixteenth-Century Sea-Monster

By R. Morton Nance, published April 1912


The sixteenth-century sea-monster is the image of a ship depicted by Brueghel. Drawing on this and other contemporary and slightly earlier images from sources such as the Orbis Civitates Terrarum and a Mercator’s Atlas, the author attempts a classification of types, including carracks, hulks and galleons, discussing distinguishing features such as beakheads, round bows, forecastles and poops. He concludes that the demise of the hulk-building tradition is to be found in the dominance of Holland in trade and naval warfare.

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Filed under: English Channel | North Sea | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Art & Music | Shipbuilding & Design

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