The painting offered is a characteristic example of van de Velde’s early seascapes, in which he depicts the calm sea – often at low tide with a few striking ships and figures. The lighting and composition lend the scene an extraordinary calm and extraordinary tranquility. The vessels one the foreground are different types of ketches (‘kaagen’).
A kaag is a flat-bottomed vessel with leeboards, a type of ship that could be found throughout the Netherlands, on the inland waterways and on the estuaries, the Zuiderzee and the Waddenzee.
Willem van de Velde was the son of the painter and ship draftsman Willem van de Velde the Elder (ca. 1611-1693), which is reflected in his paintings in the precisely rendered rigging of the ships, amongst others, reflected in his paintings. His seascapes are among the most important in Dutch painting and influenced this genre far beyond the 18th century.
In the 20th century, this painting was part of the Hudson-Fulton Exhibition, on the occasion of which the maritime achievements of Henry Hudson (c. 1565-1611) and Robert Fulton (1765-1815) were the progress and identity of New York City were highlighted. The 300th anniversary of the discovery of the Hudson River as well as the 100th anniversary of the first successful commercial use of the paddlewheel steamer by Fulton provided the occasion for this anniversary exhibition. Henry Hudson, who landed in North America in 1609 on behalf of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), sailed to Asia, later called the Northwest Passage to Asia. Subsequently he sailed up the Hudson River, named after him, in search Dutch colonization of the region.
The painting is in the RKD, The Hague, described as a work in his own hand by Willem van de Velde the Younger. Dr.Remmelt Daalder confirmed in a letter the painting as a genuine work by Willem van de Velde II.
Biography Willem van de Velde the Younger