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Oil painting - A Kaag, pont, states yacht and other vessesl under sail over a wide sea
  • A Kaag, pont, states yacht and other vessesl under sail over a wide sea
    Velde, Willem van de the younger, born 1633 - died 1707
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A Kaag, pont, states yacht and other vessesl under sail over a wide sea

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Date:

    ca. 1658 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Velde, Willem van de the younger, born 1633 - died 1707 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on oak panel

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:

    482-1882

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 7, The Sheikha Amna Bint Mohammed Al Thani Gallery, case SC2, shelf WEST

A seascape with ships on a calm sea, a large number of moored and mooring single sail boats, one de-rigging in the centre foreground, figures loading and unloading ships and men ferrying rowing boats, set against a blue sky with fluffy white cumulus and stratocumulus clouds. Willem van de Velde II (1633-1707) was the son of Willem van de Velde I. In 1652 he was in Amsterdam working in his father’s studio. His earliest paintings, inlcuding the V&A picture, were signed by van de Velde the elder as head of the studio. Willem is celebrated for his exquisitely drawn ships, a careful regard for the placing of each vessel to create a satisfying composition and an atmosphere of serene tranquillity. 482-1882 may represent the vessels used for the fitting out with stores and men of a fleet of men-of-war laying perhaps in the Texel. The States yacht at right middleground is firing a salute to starboard as a ship's boat in the centre, pulls away from the yacht.

Physical description

A seascape with ships on a calm sea, a large number of moored and mooring single sail boats, one de-rigging in the centre foreground, figures loading and unloading ships and men ferrying rowing boats, set against a blue sky with fluffy white cumulus and stratocumulus clouds.

Date

ca. 1658 (painted)

Artist/maker

Velde, Willem van de the younger, born 1633 - died 1707 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on oak panel

Marks and inscriptions

'W v Velde 165(?8)'
Signed and dated by the artist, lower right; last digit of date indistinct

Dimensions

Height: 60 cm estimate, Width: 71 cm estimate, Height: 843 mm frame, Width: 969 mm frame, Depth: 101 mm frame

Object history note

Bequeathed by John Jones, 1882
John Jones (1800-1882) was first in business as a tailor and army clothier in London 1825, and opened a branch in Dublin 1840. Often visited Ireland, travelled to Europe and particularly France. He retired in 1850, but retained an interest in his firm. Lived quietly at 95 Piccadilly from 1865 to his death in January 1882. After the Marquess of Hertford and his son Sir Richard Wallace, Jones was the principal collector in Britain of French 18th century fine and decorative arts. Jones bequeathed an important collection of French 18th century furniture and porcelain to the V&A, and among the British watercolours and oil paintings he bequeathed to the V&A are subjects which reflect his interest in France.

See also South Kensington Museum Art Handbooks. The Jones Collection. With Portrait and Woodcuts. Published for the Committee of Council on Education by Chapman and Hall, Limited, 11, Henrietta Street. 1884.
Chapter I. Mr. John Jones. pp.1-7.
Chapter II. No.95, Piccadilly. pp.8-44. This gives a room-by-room guide to the contents of John Jones' house at No.95, Piccadilly.
Chapter VI. ..... Pictures,... and other things, p.138, "The pictures which are included in the Jones bequest are, with scarcely a single exception, valuable and good; and many of them excellent works of the artists. Mr. Jones was well pleased if he could collect enough pictures to ornament the walls of his rooms, and which would do no discredit to the extraordinary furniture and other things with which his house was filled."

Ref : Parkinson, Ronald, Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860. Victoria & Albert Museum, HMSO, London, 1990. p.xix-xx

Historical significance: Willem van de Velde II (1633-1707) was the son of Willem van de Velde I. Around 1648 Willem II moved to Weesp to study under Simon de Vlieger, whose sombre and atmospheric seascapes were a foil to the more prosaic realism of his father’s work. In 1652 he was back in Amsterdam, and took up work in his father’s studio. His earliest paintings, inlcuding the V&A picture, were signed by van de Velde the elder as head of the studio. Willem is celebrated for his exquisitely drawn ships, a careful regard for the placing of each vessel to create a satisfying composition and an atmosphere of serene tranquillity. 482-1882 may represent the vessels used for the fitting out with stores and men of a fleet of men-of-war laying perhaps in the Texel. The States yacht at right middleground is firing a salute to starboard as a ship's boat in the centre, pulls away from the yacht. A drawing for the same yacht, an unfinished quarter view, is in the Boymans-van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, (MB1866/T434).

Historical context note

Marine paintings present sea subjects with particular attention to ships and shipping. When marine painting emerged as a distinct genre, in the 17th-century Dutch Republic, the initial focus was on large, publicly commissioned history paintings commemorating naval engagements against the Spanish and important political and commercial events. The genre was largely developed by Hendrick Vroom and from the 1620s onwards a market developed for smaller marine paintings, by such artists as Porcellis, de Vlieger, van de Cappelle, and van de Velde the younger, whose interests lay primarily in the depiction of atmospheric effects and the behaviour of the sea in various conditions. The Anglo-Dutch Wars (1652–74) revived interest in publicly commissioned historical painting, and after both Willem van de Velde and his son were appointed as painters to Charles II, the market in marine painting moved to London. The early marine paintings of Turner emulated those of the earlier Dutch painters such as van de Cappelle and van de Velde the younger, but Turner's more dramatic vision inspired the next generation of marine artists, and he superseded van de Velde as their model. His influence is apparent in the work of many marine artists, such as Edward William Cooke (1811–80), and Clarkson Stanfield (1793–1867), who continued to flourish in England throughout the 19th century.

Descriptive line

Oil painting, 'Shipping in a Calm', Willem van de Velde the younger, ca. 1658

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M. Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 289-290, cat. no. 359.
Hofstede de Groot, A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch painters of the seventeeth century : based on the work of John Smith 8.vols. (1909-1927), vol. vii, 1918, p. 58, no. 208A
B. S. Long, Catalogue of the Jones Collection, pt iii, Paintings and miniatures, 1923.
p. 42, pl. 37
M.S. Robinson. Van de Velde : a catalogue of the paintings of the elder and the younger. London : National Maritime Museum : distributed by Sotheby's Publications, 1990. p. 335-336, no. 623.
Ulrike Gehring and Peter Weibel, eds., Mapping spaces : networks of knowledge in 17th century landscape painting Karlsruhe : ZKM Museum for Contemporary Art ; Hirmer, 2014; Karlsruhe : Hirmer Verlag, [2014]; 504 pages : color illustrations, maps ; 30 cm. ISBN: 3777422304 / 9783777422305
603.AR.0114

Labels and date

Ships on a Calm Sea
About 1658

Wealthy Dutch merchants often hung paintings of sea subjects in their homes. These paintings reflect the importance of the sea to the Republic’s military and trade interests. To the right is a States yacht, which was used to transport members of government and their guests, and which here fires a salute. Most of the other vessels probably ferried supplies and men to fleets of warships.

Dutch Republic, now the Netherlands

By Willem van de Velde the Younger

Oil on panel

Bequeathed by John Jones [09.12.2015]

Production Note

This painting was formerly attributed to Willem van de Velde the elder (c. 1611-93) (Long, 1923) however, several authorities have convincingly attributed the picture to the son based on style.

Materials

Oil paint; Oak

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Seascapes; Sailing ships

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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