This flagship of Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Tromp was in fact a three-decker, built in 1666 at the shipyard of the Amsterdam Admiralty. With its 82 pieces, it was the on of one of the largest warships in the Dutch fleet.
In 1673, Cornelis Tromp returned to the fleet after a forced seven-year absence. In 1666, he had been dismissed for acting in his own right in the Two-Day Sea Battle. Thanks to the mediation of Stadholder William III, he had reconciled with Commander-in-Chief Michiel de Ruyter in the spring of 1673 and nothing more stood in the way of his return. His new ship became the Gouden Leeuw, on which he fought in the naval battles of Schooneveld and Kijkduin that same year. After the former sea battle in the so-called Third English War, this famous flagship would never again participate in naval combat. In 1686 the Gouden Leeuw was laid up and ended up in the Grote Scheepsdok, the Hok, located in the IJ near ‘s Lands Zeemagazijn (today’s Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum) in Amsterdam, after which Tromp commanded the Gouda built in 1665.
The Gouden Leeuw can be considered the most famous warship of the seventeenth century and was frequently drawn and painted by important masters. Not only father and son van de Velde, but also Ludolf Backhuysen and Abraham Storck magnificently eternalized this symbol of the Golden Age.