Dismasted Ship in Rough Sea

  • About the work
    Country: Other
    City: other locations abroad

    This scene of impending shipwreck is framed by the dark turbulent sea and the thick black clouds above. Several figures can be seen on the deck of the nearer ship, which has two broken masts. In the distance, another crew are squeezed into a small lifeboat, while beyond them, the ship they have abandoned begins to sink.

    The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich has two others works by Willem van de Velde II which show dismasted ships. One is a view of the ‘Battle of Texel’ in 1673, which includes a dismasted English ship sinking in the foreground. The other is a pen and ink drawing of ships in turmoil, which could be an early idea for this composition. However, van der Velde painted numerous ships in distress or being wrecked in the years around 1700.

  • About the artist
    Willem van de Velde II, marine painter, was the son of Dutch marine painter Willem van de Velde I. He was born in Leyden and studied first under his father and then under another marine painter, Simon de Vlieger. He began hid career in the early 1650s, when living in Amsterdam and his best works date from his Dutch period. By 1672 he had settled in England and in 1674 both he and his father were in the service of Charles II. There are many examples of the work of both father and son at the National Maritime Museum and in other public collections in the UK and they cannot always be distinguished. Although neither father nor son learned the English language, their influence on English maritime painting lasted until the time of Turner.
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    Materials & Techniques
    canvas, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Dismasted Ship in Rough Sea
    Oil on canvas
    height: 64.00 cm, width: 76.00 cm
    Purchased from Sir Bruce Ingram, 1963
    verso on canvas: Van de Velde F
    GAC number