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Venetian Galley Close-up Photographs

Photograph (Click photo to enlarge)
The bow.

Venetian galley ca. 1571 was armed with a 52-55 pdr cannone weighing some 5,500 lb, two 12 pdr aspidi weighing about 1,200 lb and a pair of 5-6 pdr falconetti weighing perhaps 900 lb2).
I set the guns in the gap between the front-beam and the corsia.
This configuration depends on the painting (The 1583 Spanish assault on Terciera) on p119 in reference 1. In this painting, the fighting platform is on about the same level as corsia and the guns seems to be set in the gap between the front-beam and the corsia.

The grapnel anchors are set on both side of the guns.

According to reference 3 p208, " in Venetian ships they (rams) were gilded". So, I painted the ram gold.

The bow.

According to the reference 2 p223:
"Venetian galleys acquired a temporary fighting platform at the bow. This structure eventually, though well after the period of our concern, evolved into a permanent strucure more or less along western lines. The temporary structure which preceded it was unique to Venetian galleys. This was based on four heavy support beams running fore and aft which were set on vertical posts at about shoulder height above the front end of the apostis and on eithe side of the main centerline bow gun. The rear of these beams was slightly higher than the front, giving the platform a slight forward tilt. Planks could be laid across these beams (that is at right angles to the long axis of the ship) forming a raised platform about ten feet long, above all of the bow guns except for the main centerline piece."
"Even when the platform was created, the opening above the main centerline gun gave the gunners good ventilation and clear working space."
I think that the tilted platform is a little uncool.


Under oar view.

Although the hull and oars of the Venetian commandant galleys were painted vermilion, the ordinary war galleys were painted brown2). Since my model is ordinary galley, I painted them brown.


The flag.

The flag pattern of the Venetian galley was "Venetian Lion". This pattern is too complex for me to draw on the cloth using a paintbrush. I printed the pattern got from the website "Flag of the World" on the sheet of paper using inkjet printer. Then I coated this with mat-clear-varnish.


The mast foot.

I made a lot of rigging owing to the information from Mr. Marco Brancaleon. I am deeply grateful to him for his help.
But many parts were made by my imagination.


The sail and the pennant.

I made the sail using thin cloth.
There is no information about gaskets, which were used to furl the sail to the yard, of the 16 century galleys.
I found the description about the 18 century French galley's gaskets in reference 5 as follows:
A certain type of dried grasses was used for the gaskets. When unfurl the sail, they pull down the sheet and break the grass gaskets.
I used fibers of thread as the gasket.

The pennant was made of thin cloth painted yellowish orange.
According to reference 3 p206, "the division on the left would mostly be galleys from Venice, under the direct command of Agostino Barbarigo."--------"The division on the left wing numbered sixty-three war galleys, and flew a yellow pennant at the yard peak."
At first, I made the yellow pennant. But the yellow pennant seemed to be very cheep-looking. So, I changed the color to yellowish orange.


The cage on the poop deck and 8 swivel guns

I made the cage of brass wire and the canopy of cloth. The pattern of the canopy was painted with acrylic paints.

According to the reference 2 page 323," Venetian galley would have carried a substantial swivel armament of perhaps eight bombardelli; but inasmuch as the details of their mountings are unclear."
I arranged all of the guns here.


The stern.

The Lion mold and the lantern are quite cute.

Since this is a narrow (suttile) galley, the gap between hull and corsia is the same width as the ladder. This is same configuration as the figures on p118 (A woodcut of a1561 battle between galleys and carracks) and p148 (An engraving of Lepanto) in reference 1.

1)John Francis Guilmartin, Jr.: Galleons and Galleys (2002) Cassell & Co
2)John Francis Guilmartin, Jr.: Gunpowder & Galleys (2003) Conway Maritime Press
3)Jack Beeching: The Galleys at Lepanto (1983) Charles Scribner's Sons
4)Robert Gardiner: The Age of the Galley (2004) Conway Maritime Press