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Title A Smalschip with Sail Set at Anchor close to the Shore and a Boier Laid Ashore
Alternative Title Calm Sea
Collection Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Velde, Willem van de, II (Dutch painter, 1633-1707)
Date Earliest about 1650
Date Latest about 1658
Signed yes
Description The artist has sensitively observed the grey-blue sky, the effects of aerial perspective and the reflections of light in pools of water on the sandy shore. Each vessel is carefully placed in order to create a satisfying composition. Like many of Willem van de Velde's atmospheric scenes of calm seas with shipping, this painting probably dates from the 1650s when the artist was still in his twenties and living in Amsterdam. Van de Velde's marine paintings were particularly prized and influential in England where the artist lived from about 1672.
Current Accession Number K1665
Former Accession Number 71/1946
Inscription front ll 'WVV'
Subject marine
Measurements 32.3 x 35.8 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas (laid on panel)
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by F. P. M. Schiller 1946.
Provenance Lord Eldin sale, Winstanley's Rooms, Edinburgh, 1833, lot 172, bought by Samuel Woodburn, 130 guineas, probably for Lord Gray, Kinfauns Castle, Perthshire; by descent through the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth Earls of Moray; seventeenth Earl of Moray sale, Sotheby's, London, 1932, lot 64, bought by H. A. Buttery, 150; purchased by F. N. Schiller from H. A. Buttery, 1932; by bequest or descent to F. P. M. Schiller.
Principal Exhibitions Pictures from Bristol, Wildenstein & Co, London, 1969, cat. no. 15; The Cabinet Picture: Dutch and Flemish Masters of the Seventeenth Century, Richard Green Gallery, London, 1999, pp. 114-15.
Publications Catalogue of the Pictures Ancient and Modern in Kinfauns Castle, 1833, between nos. 28 & 29; Pictures from Bristol, Uxbridge, 1969, cat. no. 15 (unpaginated), ill.; Catalogue of Oil Paintings, City Art Gallery, Bristol, Bristol, 1970, cat. no. K1665, p. 187, as Calm Sea; Wright, C., Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collections, London and Birmingham, 1989, p.254; Robinson, M. S., The Paintings of the Willem van de Veldes, Greenwich, I, cat. no. 7, pp. 477-79, ill.; Wright, C., The Cabinet Picture: Dutch and Flemish Masters of the Seventeenth Century, London, 1999, pp. 114-15, pp. 203-4, ill., as A Smalschip with Sail Set at Anchor Close to the Shore and a Boier Laid Ashore, inv. no. K1655 [sic].

Christopher Wright, 1999, observed that M. S. Robinson's 1990 catalogue entry is self-contradictory, because Robinson attributes to Willem van de Velde's hand, about 1658, but the intervention of a copyist is also suggested because of the omission of the lower part of the sprit from the vessel on the left.

The early provenance is based on M. S. Robinson, 1990, cited by Wright, 1999.

Rights Owner Bristol's Museums, Galleries & Archives
Author Dr Susan Steer




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