38
38
Willem van de Velde the Younger
THE JUPITER AND ANOTHER DUTCH SHIP WRECKED ON A ROCKY COAST IN A GALE
VAI AL LOTTO
38
Willem van de Velde the Younger
THE JUPITER AND ANOTHER DUTCH SHIP WRECKED ON A ROCKY COAST IN A GALE
VAI AL LOTTO

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale

|
Londra

Willem van de Velde the Younger
LEIDEN 1633 - 1707 LONDON
THE JUPITER AND ANOTHER DUTCH SHIP WRECKED ON A ROCKY COAST IN A GALE

Provenienza(e)

Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar (1797-1864), Novar House, Ross-shire, Scotland;
By family descent until sold (‘The Novar Collection’), London, Christie’s, 1 June 1878, lot 138, for 162 guineas-15s. to Davis;
Anonymous sale (‘The Property of a Gentleman’), London, Sotheby’s, 30 June 1965, lot 114, to Cevat;
With Duits, London;
Denys E. Gillam, Yorkshire, by whom acquired from the above in 1966;
With Richard Green, London;
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

Esposizione

Greenwich, National Maritime Gallery, The Art of the Van de Veldes: paintings and drawings by the great Dutch marine artists and their English Followers , London 1982, no. 123, illustrated p. 117.

Bibliografia

G. F. Waagen, Treasures of Art, London 1854, vol. II, p. 139;
F.T. Kugler, Handbook of Painting enlarged by Dr Waagen, 1860, p. 466;
Probably W. Frost A.R.A., A complete Catalogue of the Paintings… in the Collection of the late Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro Esq of Novar…, privately printed 1865, no. 293;
G. Redford, Art Sales: a history of sales of pictures and other works of art, London 1888, vol. I, p. 276; vol. II, p. 379;
A. Graves, Art sales from early in the 18th century to early in the 20th century: (mostly old master and early English prints), London 1921, vol. III, p. 277;
C. Hofstede De Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, London 1923, vol. VII, no. 587b, p. 145;
Duits Quarterly, 10, 1966, pp. 6-11;
M. S. Robinson, The Paintings of Willem Van de Velde, London 1990, vol. II, no. 386, reproduced p. 1025.

Nota a catalogo

One of Van de Velde's best works from the 1680s, and one of the most dramatic in his entire oeuvre, this painting spent much of the 19th century in one of the finest collections in Britain, that of Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar.

This highly dramatic scene captures the almightly struggle of two Dutch and one English ship in a howling gale as they battle to avoid a huge boulder and the shore itself. A powerful wind gusts from the left, knocking the Dutch ship Jupiter (far left) to a forty-five degree angle in the water as she attempts to claw off the land on the port tack. We see her almost full stern. Immediately in the centre is another Dutch ship, in greater difficulty still having lost her head and bowsprit in her collision with the rock. A lifeboat pulls out from the port quarter filled with sailors bound for the shore. Beyond it is an English ship, head to wind, presumably at anchor and drifting ashore. The hilly coast lies beyond still, animated by the jagged promontory or overhanging rock that has been identified as the Bec l’Aigle between Cassis and la Ciotat on the coast between Marseilles and Toulon. Now joined to the land in the 17th century it formed the Island of Aquila, navigable on both sides. This distinctive rock can be seen in several other maritime works from the 17th century, including in another Van de Velde.1
 

The leftmost ship is identifiable by its tafferel decoration showing Jupiter riding an eagle. Beneath is an inscription which may end ANNO 1651. Robinson (see Literature) identifies the scene depicted as an actual event in 1653. Following a defeat in the battle of Leghorn in March 1653 during the first Anglo-Dutch War, the British squadron in the Mediterranean was forced to withdraw leaving English trade ships unprotected, and the remaining Dutch squadron free to prey on ships coming to and from the Levant. Severe storms in December of that year led to a Dutch ship, the Star (Ster), being wrecked in the Gulf of Lyon. Some of the crew managed to escape by boat, and were picked up by one of the English prizes, being escorted by the Dutch ship Jupiter, which also failed to reach its destination and is thought to have floundered in the Gulf of Lyon. Both these ships were listed as lost at sea in 1653, corroborating the report of Charles Longland, the English consul at Leghorn, who wrote ‘The Duch themselves report they have lost two of theyre men of war fownderd in the Gulf of Lyon by fowle wether. The one of 30 guns the other 36’ (PRO London, SP18,65).  

 

Willem van de Velde the younger is renowned as the greatest marine painter of the Dutch Golden Age. His remarkable skill with the brush, his understanding of light and his profound knowledge of and interest in weather conditions, which he would very often experience first-hand out on the water with pen and paper, breathed life into all of his subjects. This painting is amongst his most dramatic but it is as exceptional for its narrative as it is for the realism of its heavy seas and the accuracy with which the ships are drawn and painted. It is a painting described by Robinson as amongst his finest works of the 1680s, and he compares it to the great Squall in the Rijksmuseum, painted at a very similar moment in the artist’s career.2

 

THE PROVENANCE
The painting has the distinction of having been part of the eminent collection of the Scottish landowner H.A.J. Munro of Novar (1797-1864), by coincidence the gentleman collector and patron responsible for the commission of the last lot in this sale, J.M.W. Turner’s Rome, from Mount Aventine. Though he inherited just one painting from his father, a Murillo, by the time of his death Munro had amassed some two and half thousand ancient and modern pictures; they were sold in a series of seven auctions that aroused great public interest. A very large number of the most important works in the collection are now to be found in major international museums. Dr. Waagen, who visited him on several occasions, noted on his first visit in 1835 that Munro had only just begun collecting and he was rather dismissive of the collection as it stood. This view, however, by the time of his second visit in 1850, and third in 1851, would transform into one of the utmost praise. For more information on Monro’s collection please see the note to the Turner, the last lot in the sale.

1. See Robinson, op. cit, cat. no. 384.
2. Ibid., cat. no. 57.

Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale

|
Londra