A break came when Axel discovered a picture of the prow
of a ship that has been demonstrated to be the Saint Louis, with a figurehead
(above) carved by an artist born after the construction of the Dutch-built
Saint Louis, probably shortly before the voyage to New France in 1667.
From the picture and the brief notice in the list of 1691, we can say
that the Saint Louis was probably around 250 tons with 2 gun decks. It
was old for a warship in 1691, and was destroyed by fire not long afterwards.
I have been playing with computer graphic images of the
St. Louis (my St. Louis, ha!). Using scale models of three ships (Batavia,
Couronne, and Soleil Royal) I put together the first attached image. I
chose Couronne for the guns because it has the right number if the top
deck is removed and only the bottom two decks used. I used Soleil Royal
for the stern because it had a better side view available, but I made
the rear flat not rounded like most the ones before the 1670s I believe.
I also made, second attachment, a color image of the prow and figurehead
(nothing fancy, I could color the clothing of the figure head, but I left
it wood colored and only colored the skin of the female Gallic warrior
with Mercury's winged helmet, winged sandles, and wand with intertwinning
snakes. Apparently the god Lug, whatever spelling, was cast as Mercury
by Julius Ceasar, etc., and I guess it shows up in all the female renditions
as well). Anyway, it is something I can look at and inspire me as I write.
It is the ship of my fictional novel at any rate. You do real art by actually
painting pictures, while I piece together things for computer images.