Willem van de Velde the Younger
Portrait of Van de Velde in 1672 by Lodewijk van der Helst
|Died||6 April 1707 (aged 73)|
|Known for||Marine painting|
A son of Willem van de Velde the Elder, also a painter of sea-pieces, Willem van de Velde, the younger, was instructed by his father, and afterwards by Simon de Vlieger, a marine painter of repute at the time, and had achieved great celebrity by his art before he came to London. He was also influenced by the work of the Dutch maritime artist Jan van de Cappelle, who excelled at painting cloudy skies, the clouds often being reflected in the calm waters. The younger Van de Velde collaborated with his father, an experienced draughtsman, who prepared studies of the battles, events and seascapes while the son painted the pictures. Father and son were driven from the Netherlands by the political and economic conditions which resulted from war with the French, and by 1673, had moved to England. Here he was engaged by Charles II, at a salary of £100, to aid his father in "taking and making draughts of sea-fights", his part of the work being to reproduce in color the drawings of the elder Van de Velde. He was also patronized by the Duke of York and by various members of the nobility.
His brother, Adriaen van de Velde, was also an artist.
Most of Van de Velde's finest works represent views off the coast of Holland, with Dutch shipping. His best productions are delicate, spirited and finished in handling, and correct in the drawing of the vessels and their rigging. The numerous figures are tellingly introduced, and the artist is successful in his renderings of sea, whether in calm or storm. The ships are portrayed with almost photographic accuracy, and are the most precise guides available to the appearance of 17th-century ships.
Substantial collections of Van de Velde's paintings and drawings are held in the National Gallery,National Maritime Museum and the Wallace Collection, all in London; the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
Portrait of van de Velde, by Godfrey Kneller
The Battle of Texel, painted 1687
The burning of the Royal James at the Battle of Solebay
HMS St Andrew at sea in a moderate breeze, painted c. 1673
Entrance to a Dutch Port, c. 1665, Metropolitan Museum of Art