Shipping off a Coast

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    For this small-scale marine painting, Dutch artist Jan Porcellis has used a subdued palette. The simplicity of Porcellis’ compositions and his use of a subtle, limited palette demonstrate a transition from the busy, brightly coloured marine paintings of the early 17th century to later monochromatic marine views of simply sea, sky and atmospheric effect. Porcellis’ most commonly executed subject was a modest fishing boat travelling through choppy waters, close to the shore, as this example demonstrates.

    The painting was purchased for the Government collection from journalist and newspaper editor Sir Bruce Stirling Ingram (1877-1963) in 1963. Ingram, a keen collector of art, became editor of the ‘Illustrated London News’ (1900-63) at the age of 22 and editor of ‘The Sketch’ (1905-46) at 27.

  • About the artist
    Painter and etcher Jan Porcellis was the son of a Flemish refugee with Spanish origins, who emigrated to the northern Netherlands. The family settled in Rotterdam, where Porcellis is first recorded in 1605. He probably began his career as a graphic artist and may have worked for the Rotterdam-based engraver and publisher Jan van Doetechum. Van Doetechum’s wife was related to British publisher Geoffrey Whitney, which may explain Porcellis spending time in London. In 1617 he moved to Antwerp, where he became a Master of the Guild. His earliest paintings date from the 1620s. He moved to Amsterdam and Haarlem, before finally settling at Soutermonde near Leyden, where he died in 1632. His son Julius also became a well-known marine painter.
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    panel, oil, oak wood, oil painting
  • Details
    Shipping off a Coast
    Oil on oak panel
    height: 28.00 cm, width: 36.00 cm
    Purchased from Sir Bruce Ingram, 1962
    Collection of newspaper proprietor and politician Sir Herbert Ingram (1811-1860); by descent to newspaper proprietor Sir Bruce Ingram (1877-1963); by whom sold through Christie’s, London, on 5 June 1936; bought in; purchased from Ingram by the Ministry of Works in 1962
    GAC number