H.J. Pfungst, London;
J.J. van Alen, Rushton Hall, Kettering, and later New York, by 1927;
By descent to Margaret Louise van Alen Bruguiere, "Wakehurst", Newport, Rhode Island;
By whose Estate sold, London, Christie's, December 5, 1969, lot 67, to Lawrence.
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1904, No. 166 (lent by James van Alen).
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonne of the works of the Most Eminent Painters of the Seventeenth Century, London 1927, vol. VIII, pp. 262, cat. no. 1053;
H.-U. Beck, Jan van Goyen 1596-1656, vol. II, Amsterdam 1973, pp. 391, cat. no. 872;
A.Graves, A Century of Loan Exhibitions 1813-1912, vol. IV, London 1914, pp. 1541.
Beginning in 1630, the marine paintings executed by van Goyen involved a shift away from grand compositions which depicted intricate scenes of multiple ships with rigging, harbors in the background, and atmospheric seascapes. If we are to examine the present composition, we see the specific technical changes which characterized the period. The process consisted of moving from linear brushwork and additive compositions containing multiple figures on larger canvases, toward a more painterly technique and simplified composition integrated by the modulation of color and tone. This canvas is relatively small, two thirds of which is covered with a largely monochrome palette, dominated by restricted hues of sky and cloud. Four, relatively small and unassuming boats are rendered in the entire canvas, the fishing boat to the far left background, the small row boat, and the sailboat, all loosely grouped in the middle foreground. The rest of the canvas is dominated by choppy water, and while masterfully created, it is executed in a highly painterly, rough manner. Overall, the composition has a free quality, one which elicits a technique reliant on quick paint application. This is the direction which much Dutch art moved towards during the Dutch Golden Age as efficiently executed canvases were more readily available to the burgeoning middle-class market who had great desire and means with which to puchase fine art by contemporary masters.
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