Seen from a high point of view, a battle scene is set before a fortified coastline. In the foreground a Spanish galleon - with a cross topping its mast and the Madonna and Child emblazoned across its red and white stripped flag - rows towards an English three-master, an English cannon and towards Spanish muskets firing at each other. Other warships, bearing the flag of the United Provinces, can be seen beyond. An old label on the reverse of the copper plate identifies the work as The Battle of Gibraltar by Hendrik Vroom, who designed the ten tapestries depicting the English navy against the Spanish Armada that hung in the House of Lords before they were damaged by fire.
Whether the Battle of Gibraltar is actually depicted here, is questionable because of the distinct presence of two St. George’s crosses and what appear to be two English coats-of-arms. The battle of the 25th of April 1607 was fought by the United Provinces and the Spanish, without involvement from the English.
Both style and the ships situate the creation of this work in the early 17th century. Comparable to the present composition is a battle painting attributed to Hendrik Vroom and his son Cornelis Hendricksz. Vroom of 1617 in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (SK-A-460), of which the subject has been considered as the Battle of Gibraltar, but apparently also depicts another historical event before the Flemish coast on 3 October 1602. This makes it plausible that another of the numerous battles fought within the Eighty Year’s War is the actual subject. Because galleons were not well suited for extended travel on open seas, the presence of numerous Spanish galleons may also suggest this battle took place in the Mediterranean or at least near a Spanish coast.