Spain used galleons primarily for cargo transportation during colonial times, but oftentimes they were captured by pirates in the West Indies, as some of that cargo tended to Spanish silver and gold coin.
Maybe this is why I find them romantic. When I look at this ship, I picture a dashing buccaneer gazing over the side, looking at something in the water... something mysterious, beautiful and not quite human...
Howard Pyle must have thought they were pretty romantic too, and based one of his better known pirate illustrations on this type of ship. I got to see "An Attack on a Galleon" in person a few years ago at the Norman Rockwell Museum. The colors are so vivid, they practically leap out at you.
And, looking at it, don't you hear the wind and sloshing waves?
|"An Attack on a Galleon," Howard Pyle, 1905, Oil on canvas.|