Attack on San Salvador

Image credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

San Salvador was a city in the north of Portuguese Brazil, later called Bahia and now known as Salvadore. In 1624 it was attacked by a Dutch fleet commanded by Piet Hein and captured after a few days. Viewed from the south, Dutch and Spanish ships are in action in the entrance to the bay in the foreground. Piet Hein's ship is in the right foreground in port-quarter view, but nearly stern on. As well as engaging the Spanish ships, the Dutch ships on the left are bombarding the fort in the left foreground, which is replying. In the background near the city, Spanish ships are at anchor. They are also firing, together with a centrally placed fort. The ground rises steeply from the shore and the city is perched high up, with a skyline of church spires and roof-tops. The right side of the bay is guarded by the fort of San Antonio, below which the Dutch have made a landing in Sand Bay. The fort in the left background is called the San Philipe. Four brightly coloured parakeets soar above the bay, dominating the sky and identifying the exotic location. In the background more hills can be seen to the left and the right, together with another bay beyond. The work is careful in its depiction of rigging, sailors on the decks, and other details.

National Maritime Museum



Attack on San Salvador




oil on panel


H 67.3 x W 106.7 cm

Accession number


Work type



This artwork does not have any tags yet. You can help by tagging artworks on Tagger.

National Maritime Museum

Romney Road, Greenwich, London, Greater London SE10 9NF England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue