Drawings on parchment by Willem van de Velde the Elder are exceptionally rare. Only about 10 examples are known. The largest and most important maritime museum in the world with the most important collection of drawings by Willem van de Velde the Elder and the Younger has only three drawings by Willem van de Velde the Elder on parchment. see literature. There is no doubt that our drawing is more beautiful, important and of higher quality than the 3 drawings in the British Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
Willem van de Velde the Elder’s drawings on parchment can be dated to about 1640 and are precursors to his later pen paintings. Although these were not drawn on parchment but on canvas or panel, the technique is the same.
Willem van de Velde the Elder was the most important ship draughtsman of the 17th century.